Porcelain fillings are best known for possessing a striking resemblance to real tooth enamel while offering superior strength. A dental filling is one of the most common ways to restore you tooth back to it original form and function. It essentially fills in the cavity, stops the bacterial build-up, and prevents further decay. Among the available filling materials are gold, amalgam, porcelain and composite resin. A composite resin or porcelain filling, however, has an added advantage of preserving the natural aesthetics of your former tooth.
Porcelain Fillings – Inlays and Onlays
Porcelain fillings may be divided into inlays or onlays. An inlay can either be used to fill in a cavity or replace an old filling. Onlays include a partial crown that acts as a tooth-like cap that sits on your original tooth, following the removal of the decayed portion. Both inlays and onlays are primarily used to restore the tooth’s original shape and strength. They also help to strengthen or repair your tooth while retaining the natural shade and structure.
Porcelain fillings that are fabricated outside the patient’s mouth (predominantly in a lab) are known as indirect fillings. During the first appointment, the dentist would generally clean the decayed tooth and prepare it for the filling – in the meantime fitted with a temporary crown, as in the case of an onlay. After the crown has been fabricated at a lab, the patient would return to the clinic for the final fitting, in which a permanent crown replace the temporary one.
As opposed to indirect fillings, direct fillings utilize soft dental materials that are applied directly onto the tooth and cured (hardened) inside the mouth.
Porcelain Fillings – Why They Are More Popular
Porcelain fillings are also the more popular option because they allow a customized fit for your individual tooth and cavity. Due to their strength and precise fit, porcelain fillings can last up to 30 years, while other filling materials usually need to be replaced after less than 10 years following their placement.
When considering factors like strength and durability, amalgam and composite fillings don’t even come close. In fact, documented evidence suggests that porcelain restorations can retain between 80–100% of the tooth’s original strength. What that represents are enormous savings for the patient, promising lesser visits to the dentist and less likelihood for hiccups as compared to metal and composite fillings.
Finally, porcelain fillings are best known for their superior aesthetics. They are simply more compatible with natural teeth, compared with other materials, and even come in a range of shades – allowing a closer match to your original tooth’s colour. That look of natural, healthy teeth is what patients go for – which is exactly what porcelain fillings excel at.