A white/tooth coloured filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then refilled.
There are different types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Typically, your filling would be either composite resin or porcelain, the choice depends on your tooth strength. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth.
Composite Resin Fillings (Direct Restorations)
Composite fillings are tooth coloured, therefore they can be closely matched to the colour of existing teeth. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.
Glass Ionomer Fillings (Direct Restorations)
This is another type of white fillings material. The main advantage with glass ionomer filings is that they release fluoride which helps prevent tooth decay. This makes them popular for fillings in baby teeth.
Porcelain Fillings (Indirect Restorations)
These are fillings that are made in the dental laboratory and require 2 visits. They are more durable than composite resin fillings and last longer. They are usually considered when there is not enough tooth structure remaining to support a composite filling, but the tooth is not so severely damaged that it requires a crown. There are 2 types of porcelain fillings:
Inlays – Similar to fillings but the entire restoration lies within the cusps (points) on the chewing surface of the tooth.
Onlays – A more extensive porcelain filling covering 1 or more of the cusps.