A dental filling repairs the damage caused by tooth decay or fracture. It restores the natural appearance of a decayed or previously filled tooth. Dental fillings today are tooth-coloured, which blend very well to tooth enamel and are able to bond to the remaining tooth structure.
Composite fillings are the most popular fillings today. They are natural-looking and made from composite resin. Composite fillings begin soft and they are hand-shaped during the filling process. A blue light is then used to cure the composite to harden it. Composite fillings are very durable and bond well to tooth enamel.
Amalgam fillings, or more commonly known as silver fillings, were the most popular fillings many years ago. However they have fallen out of favour in recent years. Amalgam fillings are a mix of metal alloys, can contain traces of mercury and are dark in colour, which has been viewed unfavourably. Many people tend to replace these silver fillings with tooth-coloured fillings.
Porcelain fillings are used to restore heavily-filled teeth or when a large amount of tooth structure has been lost. They are stronger and more durable than composite white fillings. They are tooth-coloured and also bond to tooth structure. This option is viable for teeth with more than 60% tooth structure loss.
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