Patient Question – How Strong Are Tooth Coloured Fillings?
Our Ipswich dentist answers a patient’s concern about cosmetic dental fillings.
Today’s query comes from a patient who is unhappy about his dark fillings being visible when he laughs, and wonders whether the tooth coloured fillings that we offer at the Foxhall Dental Practice, would be strong, as well as natural looking.
Q. Hello. I wonder if you can help me. I have three rear teeth which are quite heavily filled. Unfortunately, when I laugh they are really visible and a couple of friends have asked why I don’t have the fillings changed to natural looking ones. I had a quick look on your website as I wasn’t even aware that they existed. I would just like to know though, how strong they are, as some of the fillings are pretty big.
Hello and thanks for the question. Tooth coloured fillings are certainly much more attractive than amalgam ones. From a strength perspective, there have been a lot of advancements in this area over the years, and it is now generally considered that these modern cosmetic fillings offer a strength approaching amalgam.
We would first of all need to take a look at your current fillings to assess the situation. If it is your very rear teeth that are heavily filled, this could present a challenge as they are the teeth that do a lot of work, grinding and chewing food, and, therefore the filling does need to be strong.
Some patients do feel that the fillings in their teeth are actually larger than they are, so we can take a look at that and, if we feel that teeth coloured fillings would offer offer sufficient strength, we would be happy to replace your current fillings with them. What we do NOT want to do, of course, is to replace your fillings, only for them to crack or break under the strain of eating. If we judge that your filling is too large for tooth coloured fillings to be practical, there are other options available to you which would offer both strength and a natural appearance.
Instead of a filling, we can produce either an onlay or inlay, depending on the situation. These are usually made from porcelain, although gold is also available. Essentially these are produced from impressions taken of your teeth and are produced in a dental laboratory. Inlays are generally used for larger cavities, and, once produced are used to fill the cavity in the tooth. Onlays are used when a tooth is also badly damaged and are used to not only fill the cavity, but also to fit over it, offering a similar strength to a dental crown.
Unfortunately it is impossible to say which will be the most appropriate treatment without examining your teeth. We therefore recommend that you arrange to see our Ipswich dentist who can assess the situation and will discuss the various options with you. I am sure that, however large the cavities are, we will be able to choose a suitable method to restore the integrity of your tooth and also help you to feel more confident when you laugh too.
To arrange your consultation, please call the Foxhall Dental Practice on 01473 258396.