Dental Fillings

Durable repair for broken teeth in Ipswich

One of the most common dental procedures performed at Foxhall Dental Surgery is the dental filling. Whilst these have traditionally been done using amalgam; a mixture of various metals, there are now a number of other alternatives available.

Whilst amalgam certainly offers a strong solution for filling teeth, its aesthetic appeal is poor and a mouthful of fillings is highly visible during laughter or yawning. New modern materials are now able to offer a suitably strong solution as a replacement for the traditional amalgam filling.

Tooth coloured fillings

Whilst tooth coloured fillings have been available for some time, these have not been widely used due to their lack of strength. In most cases, they would not have been used at all on the rear teeth that do the bulk of the work when chewing.

Recent dental advances though have resulted in a much improved tooth coloured filling that is a match for amalgam fillings in most situations.  Made from glass, synthetic resin and a setting ingredient, these white fillings are an excellent alternative to amalgam.

When used on highly visible teeth, there should be no concern about the fillings being a different colour to the natural teeth as the shade can be adjusted to provide an excellent match.

Composite bonding

Dental bonding, or composite bonding as it is sometimes called, is also an option for certain types of tooth repair. Made from acrylic resins, it is a useful option for minor repairs, especially for repairing chips in the teeth. However it should be said that in cases where there is significant damage, dental veneers may be a preferable option for this purpose.


Dental inlays can be made from a number of materials including the extremely strong, but also very expensive, gold. Whilst this does offer a strong option, the most popular material used is porcelain as this offers a good compromise in both strength and cost.

Inlays are mainly used for the repair of larger cavities and are produced as follows. Initially the dentist takes impressions of the teeth which are sent to a dental laboratory where the inlays are produced. The patient will then be recalled and the inlay fitted into the cavity, giving the tooth both additional strength and aesthetic appeal.


Dental onlays are very similar to an inlay except for where as an inlay is placed inside a cavity, an onlay is placed inside and over the cavity. This is to ensure that the onlay offers good strength to a badly damaged tooth.

Dental onlays therefore perform a similar task to a dental crown and should, providing it is cared for correctly, be expected to last for a similar length of time as a crown.

If you have a cavity in your tooth and would like an alternative to old style amalgam fillings, please call our Ipswich dental practice on 01473258396

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