After decay is removed from a tooth, something must be placed in that space to give strength back to the tooth. Our office uses only metal-free restorations, because metal-based (“silver”/mercury-amalgam) fillings weaken teeth, very often leading to cracked teeth. In addition, metal-based fillings are an esthetic compromise. White fillings are cosmetically matched to look like your natural tooth; they are stronger and safer than “silver” fillings; and they are healthier for your mouth and your body. White (metal-free) fillings are an alternative to “silver” (mercury amalgam) fillings. White fillings are made of a strong composite resin that is matched to the surrounding tooth color. In the past, white fillings were placed only on front teeth, but a stronger, more durable material has been developed that can withstand the chewing pressure of back teeth.
White fillings are often preferable because:
- Many patients prefer mercury-free fillings.
- Cosmetic reasons – white fillings look more natural.
- Patients with sensitivity to heat or cold find metal-free fillings to be more comfortable.
White Porcelain or Resin Inlay/OnlayA porcelain or resin inlay or onlay is used when the cavity is too big for a white resin filling, but isn’t so big that a crown is required. An inlay is a filling within the cusp tips of the tooth. Onlays (also known as overlays) will overlay one or more cusps in order to protect and strengthen the tooth.