Cosmetic fillings, also known as composite fillings, are used to help patients with tooth decay in a number of ways. What’s important to note is that although they’re referred to as “cosmetic”, these fillings are much more than a visual upgrade. These also help to stop the spread of tooth decay, repair the tooth on an as-needed basis and due to their white coloration help to restore the original, natural look of the patient’s teeth. The procedure of having a cosmetic filling installed will take two visits to Kids Choice Dental – the first is for cleaning the area and making measurements and the filling is installed during the second.
Conversely, Amalgam fillings, which you most likely know as either traditional or “silver” fillings, can boast that they only require one dental visit for the procedure to be done. Due to the speed in which amalgam fillings can be installed, patients who are normally a little wary of visiting the dentist or who have busy schedules can still protect their teeth without the need for multiple visits.
This being said, both cosmetic and amalgam fillings are each excellent options in their own right. What’s most important, however, is that our patients will be free from the discomfort that comes with cavities be it from aches when decay expands or not being able to chew or bite in a natural way.
Cosmetic fillings come in two forms: Inlays and onlays. Inlays are those that most people think about when it comes to fillings in general. Inlays are the procedure that is used to fill holes and other structural flaws in the tooth that a patient might have.
On the other hand, onlays are used to address damage and decay on the surface of a tooth. This is often done to either repair the forward facing surface of the front teeth to restore a dazzling smile or to fix issues on the back of the teeth to restore a proper bite.
As mentioned before, cosmetic fillings require two separate visits to the dentist to ensure a proper installation.
The first visit will generally involve a cleaning and x-ray to identify the extent to which tooth decay or damage has occurred. This is then followed up by the dentist taking an impression of the tooth or teeth that require inlays or onlays. During the time between this first visit and the following appointment, the impression is used to craft a custom composite filling made specifically to match the patients teeth and cavity.
During the second visit, the patient will have another cleaning and will receive a local anesthetic. Once the tooth has been cleaned, prepared and checked for accurate sizing, the dentist places a strong bonding agent to the inside of the cavity so the onlay or inlay will permanently stay in place. The filling is then placed and the procedure is complete.