Aesthetic fillings refer to the types of restorations that are used to restore slightly to moderately compromised tooth to look and function like your own natural teeth. Depending on the size and location of remaining healthy tooth structure, a direct composite resin restoration, an inlay, or an onlay can become the recommended choice of treatment
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Defective old restoration
- Esthetic enhancement
The simplest type of aesthetic restoration is the direct composite resin restoration. Usually done in a single appointment, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing any compromised tooth structures as well as old restorations leaving just clean healthy tooth surfaces. After, using special etching and bonding agents, the tooth-colored composite resin is placed into the prepared area and light cured resulting in a strong chemical adherence.
Dental inlay and onlay are lab fabricated partial coverage restoration often made of porcelain. These restorations are recommended if the tooth being restored needs a large filling that can otherwise be compromised if a weaker material such as the composite resin is used. Usually two appointments are needed for an inlay or an onlay restoration. On the first appointment, the tooth is prepared by removing all the decayed tooth structures and/or old restorations. Once only healthy tooth structures remain, the space is shaped properly to receive the aesthetic restorations. After, an accurate impressions and bite registrations are taken in order for the dental lab technician to fabricate a well fitting, esthetic, and durable inlay/onlay restoration. The lab fabrication process will take a few weeks and in the meantime the patient will have a temporary restoration placed over the prepared tooth structure to prevent any discomfort. On the second visit, the finished restorations will be tried in the patient's mouth to verify fit, bite, and esthetics. Few adjustments may be needed to ensure a properly fitted and comfortable restoration. Once everything is checked and adjusted, the restorations are permanently cemented into place. Proper and consistent brushing, flossing, and regular recall visits with the dentist will aid in the life of your new restoration.