Dental FillingsAn Overview
Dental fillings are used to treat teeth that are showing signs of decay or have been affected by trauma, wear or other damage. A dental filling will restore strength and beauty to the tooth and protect the tooth from future damage. Amherst dentist Dr. Karl Neuhaus uses metal-free dental fillings to achieve natural-looking, long-lasting results. We can also replace old, dark fillings for an instant smile makeover.
What is a “white filling”?
White fillings are tooth colored dental fillings. They are made from composite resin or porcelain that is color matched to your smile. When placed, this material creates a tight and secure seal to offer superior protection against future decay. White fillings are virtually undetectable and provide long lasting strength and durability.
Resin Dental Fillings
Resin dental fillings are made from a biocompatible composite resin that is applied directly to the tooth. Treatment with resin dental fillings is also called composite bonding. Generally, our dentists use resin dental fillings and composite bonding for patients with minor tooth decay or damage.
Resin dental fillings are long-lasting, but not permanent. They are used as part of a conservative treatment plan to protect the tooth from future damage. Routine dental visits enable us to check on the integrity of your filling over time and make any necessary repairs or adjustments to avoid further tooth damage.
Porcelain Dental Fillings
Porcelain dental fillings may also be called inlays, onlays, or partial crowns. Ideal for patients with more significant damage or decay, porcelain dental fillings add additional strength to the tooth. With proper care and maintenance, porcelain fillings may last up to 30 years.
Inlay vs. Onlay
- An inlay covers one cusp (or bump) of the surface of the tooth
- An onlay, sometimes called a partial crown, is more extensive, covering two or more cusps
Replacing Metal Dental Fillings
Modern advances in cosmetic dentistry mean that you no longer need to suffer from unsightly and uncomfortable silver/mercury fillings. Our dentists are able to replace old, broken-down amalgam (metal) fillings with white fillings for a more comfortable and natural looking restoration.
In many cases, we will recommend the use of a porcelain dental filling to replace your old filling, especially if located in a larger tooth. If the old filling was large and removing it will compromise the tooth, Dr. Neuhaus may recommend a dental crown to add additional strength.