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White Fillings/Inlays

Amalgam (also called silver fillings) has long time been used in the dentistry field. Today, there is no doubt that it's not healthy to have the amalgam in the mouth, and it's also not aesthetic and should be replaced.

There are today several alternative filling materials:

Porcelain (also called ceramics)
When it comes to colouring and shape, the aesthetic advantages are higher because these types of fillings are very similar to a real tooth.

Composite resin (also called white or plastic filling)
A composite filling contains plastic and glass or quartz. The advantage of composite filling is that it has the same colour as the tooth and can be placed directly on the tooth. Composite lasts for 5-10 years and is very good material for small cavities. The disadvantages with composite are that it's sensitive to pressure like hard biting, and it gathers the plaque easily. They can also easily be discoloured especially if you are a smoker.

Glass ionomers Cement
Glass ionomer cement is a type of filling that contains flour. It's a common material for filling milk teeth. The best advantage is that has its ability to obtain and emit fluoride, which prevent caries. Sometimes it's used by adults when it comes to small cavities or high risk for new cavities or sensitivity to liquid and limited strength.

Resin-Ionomer Cement
Resin-Ionomer Cement is a new material and is, in fact, a mixture of composite and Glass ionomers cement. The advantage is that it's aesthetic and emitting fluoride. The disadvantage is that it has a limited strength.

It's the most tried filling material that has long durability. It's often used as an inlay or onlay or as a crown and works best back in the mouth. To repair teeth with gold is of course more expensive than with plastic material.


When more than half of the tooth's surface is damaged, the dentist will often use an inlay or onlay to correct the problem. The inlays can be made of porcelain, gold or a composite resin (plastic filling) which is bonded to the damage area of the tooth.

Often a porcelain material is used because it matches the colour of your teeth.


An inlay - inlay is similar to a tooth filling and is inside the cusp tips of the tooth.


An onlay - onlay is more extended reconstruction that covers a bigger part of the tooth.

It will take two appointments to bond a porcelain inlay/onlay to the damaged area of the tooth. At the first appointment, the old filling or cavity is filled, and the tooth is prepared for porcelain inlay/onlay. Then the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and sends it to a dental lab for fabrication. The dentist would then make a temporary restoration on tooth and schedule the next appointment.

At the second appointment, the temporary restoration is removed. First, the doctor would make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. When the fit is perfected, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin adhesive and polished to a smooth finish.

Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50%. As an alternative, inlay and onlay, is bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years.

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