What Are Fillings, Inlays & Onlays?
Fillings, inlays and onlays are tooth restorations applied by our dentists to help treat varying levels of decay and damage in our patients' teeth, generally in the form of cavities.
Fillings can be made from silver, amalgam (a blend of powdered tin, silver and mercury), porcelain or composite resin. Generally speaking, the decay from a cavity will be removed from the tooth with a dental drill before whichever kind of restoration is appropriate is applied to the affected area.
Fillings, inlays and onlays can all prevent further decay and damage to your smile as well as reinforce the structure of the affected tooth.
Composite resin fillings can be used to restore parts of a tooth in order to restore decayed parts of your smile by altering an individual tooth's shape or colour. Our dentists use a customized bled of colouration in each filling to match the natural colour of the surrounding tooth so it is difficult to detect to the casual observer.
Onlays are often long-lasting and more durable than regular fillings.
Onlays, in contrast to inlays, cover damaged or decayed cusps of a tooth rather than between them. Onlays are commonly used in cases where a dental crown might be considered an excessive treatment option.
Inlays are larger than a regular filling and are placed in order to fill the space between the cusps at the centre of your tooth's surface.
Aesthetic, or cosmetic, inlays are made from composite resin or porcelain in order to blend in the with natural colouration of your teeth. You may even opt to replace silver fillings with aesthetic inlays in order to create a natural-looking tooth surface.
Drill-less Fillings and SDF Treatment
Our dentists are able to offer treatment of a cavity with SDF (or silver diamine fluoride), a compound that halts the development of tooth decay, avoiding the need for drilling out infected tissues, while staining the cavity a noticeable grey.
This non-surgical treatment option may be followed by a filling in adult teeth or, in children's primary teeth, may be left alone until the primary tooth falls out naturally.