In cases when tooth structure loss is minimal to medium we can use Composite Resin.
Composite Resin fillings are done in a single appointment, in most cases under local anaesthetic.
Composite Resins are polymers that present as tooth colored putty like material.
Once a cavity in the tooth is prepared the Composite Resin material is placed inside and set with a blue dental light, which makes the Composite Resin go hard.
Composite Resins are bonded to tooth structure.
In cases when the amount of lost tooth structure is extensive, Composite Resin fillings may not be the best choice of material as Composite Resins tend to offer very little support to weakened tooth structure. Instead they themselves rely on the natural tooth for support.
In more extensive cases, when just a filling will not be sufficient but the tooth may not yet be ready for a crown, we can choose another type of tooth colored restoration called inlay or onlay.
They are generally made of dental porcelains.
They offer great structural support to the remaining tooth structure often protecting the tooth from fractures. They are also extremely conservative restoration requiring only minimal tooth preparation.
Porcelain inlays and onlays are performed in most cases in two appointments as the strong porcelain fillings are manufactured in dental laboratories.
The expected longevity of porcelain fillings is significantly longer than that of Composite Resins.