A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures, etc. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.
There are many types of filling materials available, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. You and your dentist can discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings, along with silver amalgam fillings, are the most widely used today.
Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the teeth.
Reasons for composite fillings:
- Chipped teeth
- Closing space between two teeth
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Decayed teeth
- Worn teeth
Inlays are natural looking fillings that are typically used to replace large amalgam (silver) fillings.
Inlays are made from either composite or porcelain, and are durable enough to be placed in the molars.
They provide all the benefits of a regular filling, while at the same time helping to maintain the natural beauty of your smile.
A dental onlay is bigger than a normal filling or inlay, but not quite as big as a crown. They cover one or more of the cusps, or even the entire biting surface, of the tooth. Since they cover such a large area of the tooth, onlays are sometimes also called partial crowns.
When a tooth is damaged to the extent that a regular filling or inlay is not sufficient to repair it, but not so badly damaged that it requires a crown, onlays make for a good middle ground.