After decay is removed from a tooth, something must be placed in that space to give strength back to the tooth. Our office uses only metal-free restorations as metal-based (“silver”/mercury amalgam) fillings weaken teeth, very often leading to cracked teeth. In addition, metal-based fillings are an esthetic compromise.
White fillings are cosmetically matched to look like your natural tooth; they are stronger and safer than “silver” fillings, and they are healthier for your mouth and your body.
White (metal-free) fillings are an alternative to “silver” (mercury amalgam) fillings. White fillings are made of a strong composite resin that is matched to the surrounding tooth color.
In the past, white fillings were placed only on front teeth, but a stronger, more durable material has been developed that can withstand the chewing pressure of back teeth.
A porcelain or resin inlay or onlay is used when the cavity is too big for a white resin filling but isn’t so big that a crown is required. An inlay is a filling within the cusp tips of the tooth. Onlays (also known as overlays) will overlay one or more cusps in order to protect and strengthen the tooth.