There are two general types of fillings intracoronal and extracoronal. Intracoronal fillings sit inside the tooth & gain strength & support from the tooth, & often weaken the tooth. They are generally made from materials which set or harden inside the tooth. Extracoronal fillings sit over the tooth, cover & protect the tooth. They are usually made in the dental laboratory.

Fillings are used to restore a portion of a tooth damaged by decay or traumatic injury. There are different types of materials used to fill cavities, including porcelain, gold, composite and metal alloys. The size , shape & position of fillings, and the biocompatibility of the material are all important factors when choosing a filling material.
Tooth coloured filling materials include:

Composite fillings

    – Composite fillings are just what the name implies: a mixture of resins and fine particles designed to mimic the color of natural teeth. Composite resins need to be bonded to the tooth surface to allow for adhesion.


    – Like composite resins, these materials are tooth-colored. Ionomers are made from a combination of various materials, including ground glass and acrylic resins. Ionomers are typically used for fillings near the gum line or tooth root, where biting pressure is not a factor. Ionomers bond to the sides of the tooth & help strengthen the tooth and are very biocompatible.

Porcelain (ceramic)

    – These materials are usually a combination of porcelain, glass powder, and ceramic. Porcelain materials are used to fabricate crowns, veneers, onlays and inlays. Porcelain restorations are more durable and longer lasting.

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