Restorations (White Fillings)

Restorations (White Fillings):

A dental restoration (or ‘filling’) is the process of repairing the function and structural integrity of damaged tooth structure, using a dental restorative material.

Causes of damaged tooth structure include: tooth decay, trauma, fracture or wear.

There are two types of restorative materials used depending on the size of the restoration required: composite resin or ceramic (porcelain). Both of these materials are matched to your natural tooth colour.

There are two types of dental restoration procedures:

  • Direct Restorations: Used for smaller restorations, a composite resin filling material is placed into the prepared tooth cavity.
  • Indirect Restorations: Used for larger restorations, they require a custom made ceramic (porcelain) tooth replacement filling. These are called inlays and onlays.

Below you will find information and examples of both procedures:

1. Direct Restorations – Composite Resin

A composite resin is used for smaller restorations and is completed in one appointment.

The Procedure:

First the tooth surface is prepared (e.g. decay and/or damage is removed). Then the area is cleansed to remove bacteria and/or debris.

A gentle phosphoric acid gel is then applied to the surface of the natural tooth. It stays on for 10 seconds (this doesn’t hurt). This is done to micro etch the tooth surface (give it a rough texture), which enhances adhesion. Similar to roughing up a surface with sandpaper to help paint stick better, acid etching of the tooth surface strengthens the bond of the sealant and composite resin that will be applied on top. After 10 seconds the gel is removed.

Then the tooth surface is coated with a liquid plastic sealant (referred to as a “bonding agent”). Because it’s a liquid, it easily seeps in between the bumps of the etched (roughened) surface. This is then cured (hardened) with a blue light which causes it to become locked (‘bonded’) onto the tooth’s surface.

Composite resin is then shaped on top of the bonded sealant in layers. After each layer is applied, it is cured (hardened) with a blue light. As each layer is placed and cured, it creates a chemical bond with the previous layer.

The result is a smooth, strong and durable restoration that is colour matched to your natural tooth colour.

Composite Resin procedure video:



2. Indirect Restorations – Ceramic (Porcelain)

For larger restorations a ceramic (porcelain) inlay/onlay (custom made filling) is used.
These are made on our CEREC machine and are completed in just one appointment.
An inlay is a filling applied to the inside of a tooth.
An onlay is a filling applied both in and over the cusp (outer edge) of the tooth.

For more information on the full CEREC restoration procedure and our technology please click here.


Inlay mould example


Onlay mould example


Onlay (CEREC) procedure video:

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