A variety of restorative filling materials are available today each with its own different advantages and properties. The types of restorations suitable for you would depend on various factors like the type of tooth, remaining tooth structure after caries, the way you bite your teeth together amongst others and would be advised to you accordingly by our dentists.The various dental restorative materials are :
1. Direct restorations
Direct restorations are done in chair in the dental surgery usually requiring a single visit
a) Amalgams : Amalgams have been used as a dental restorative materials for decades. However concerns regarding toxicity associated with mercury in the amalgam, required excess removal of tooth structure and propensity to cause cracks in the tooth over time have led to this restoration to be less favoured in today’s modern dentistry.
Replacement of amalgam restorations is done at our surgery using rubber dam and high volume suction to ensure your protection from mercury toxicity .
b)Composite resin : Composite resin is currently a commonly used restorative material. It comes in a variety if shades and can be colour matched to your tooth. Composite resin chemically bonds to your tooth and is the most commonly used restorative material in small to average sized restorations.
c)Glass ionomer (GIC) : GIC is not as strong , durable or wear resistant as composite restoration but has certain decay preventing capacity and does bond well to the tooth especially the root surface. It is also used in areas with not much biting force on them and in restorations for children.
2. Indirect restorations
Indirect restorations are much stronger and durable than direct restorations and are preferred in moderate to large size cavities.
These restorations are made in the dental laboratory using your impressions taken in the dental surgery and require two visits to the dental surgery.
a) Inlays and onlays : These indirect coverage restorations cover the part of the tooth affecting/infected by dental decay/trauma but does not cover the whole tooth.
b) Crowns : Crowns provide full coverage and protects the structural integrity of the tooth . Crowns are needed to treat
a) large extensive decay
b) After root canal completion to provide adequate strength to the brittle tooth
c) cover over an implant
d) Large cracking or leaking old restorations
c) to prevent wear due to teeth grinding/clenching