Part of our commitment to you in keeping your teeth for your lifetime is the repair of damaged teeth. If a tooth develops a cavity, the decay must be removed and the tooth structure restored with a filling material.
Every choice has advantages and disadvantages.
Dr. Liang will discuss the options with you to come to the best treatment outcome for your situation.
Amalgam fillings are also known as silver fillings. This is the least expensive type of dental filling and is extremely durable. Amalgam fillings are not aesthetically pleasing and usually require more of the tooth to be removed to make a space large enough to retain the filling. Unfortunately, there are some disadvantages to amalgam fillings as well. The mercury content in amalgam is a concern for some patients, and also over time amalgam fillings can cause cracks or fractures in the teeth.
Composite resin, or white fillings have the advantage of requiring a more conservative tooth preparation, (less drilling required) and can have a strengthening effect on the tooth. They are more aesthetic and can be matched to your natural tooth colour. Composite fillings are the material of choice for repairing the front teeth. Dr. Liang and his staff will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of composites to decide if this is an option for you.
Porcelain inlays/onlays have the advantage of being highly aesthetic, and is the restoration of choice for people who place the highest value in the appearance of their teeth. Porcelain inlays are a more permanent solution and last longer than composite fillings. If the restoration is large or there is little tooth structure to work with porcelain inlays or onlays are the best choice for aesthetics and longevity. At our office we have the ability to create porcelain inlays/onlays/crowns in a single visit. This technology is called Cerec and with this technology we can save patients time and extra visits. Perhaps their most important benefit, however, is that, in saving damaged teeth, inlays and onlays help patients avoid the eventual need for more extensive treatment with dental crowns, dental bridges, or dental implants. These restorations are more expensive than amalgam or composite fillings, but the result and longevity is well worth the investment.
Gold alloy is used for dental fillings, most commonly as inlays/onlays or crowns. Gold is not used in its pure form, but as an alloy containing 75% gold, as well as copper, silver, platinum, palladium, and zinc. Gold is extremely durable; fairly esthetic, does not damage the opposing tooth when biting, and is very well tolerated by the gums and other intra-oral tissues. Gold restorations are also very conservative because they require minimal tooth reduction and when finished, gold restorations are so smooth that they do not attract plaque. They are more expensive than composite and amalgam fillings, but longevity and beauty of these restorations make the investment well worth it. With proper care and regular maintenance these restorations really can last a lifetime.
Patients today have several choices when it comes to selecting materials to repair missing, worn, damaged or decayed teeth. Dr. Liang and his staff are committed to constant learning about the latest advances and research in dental filling materials and techniques to create pleasing, natural-looking smiles. We will take the time to discuss all your treatment options to help you decide which is best for you.