inlays / onlays
Your old amalgam (black fillings) can be replaced in 2 different manners. If the amalgam filling is small, we will choose to offer to you an anatomically formed white filling as shown below, made out of tooth coloured cured composite material.
Amalgam exchanged for a white filling
photo on the side
Initially of a putty consistency, the composite material is packed in layers into the cavity and cured with UV light to become as hard as the tooth. While curing, the material shrinks and pulls at the walls of the cavity it is bonded to, creating sometimes micro cracks in the tooth itself.
While in function, it may happen that micro cracks will trigger an entire wall of the cavity to break off (thus part of the tooth itself), sometimes to the point of disrepair.
As a result of that, if the amalgam filling is larger, we will most of the time advise you to choose a ceramic inlay over a white filling. This only makes sense since the ceramic piece is produced outside the mouth (called an indirect restoration) unlike a white filling which is formed directly onto the tooth.
Indirect restorations as presented on the side will cause way less pulling force at the walls of the cavity, while bonding them onto the tooth.
That is because the layer of luring cement which bonds the ceramic inlay to the tooth is incomparably thinner compared to a white filling in the same size of the inlay. As a result, while curing the luting cement, the shrinkage is much less compared to the shrinkage of the volume of composite material that would be needed to fill the cavity.
Lower shrinkage means minimal pull on the tooth and so the tooth is much less likely to suffer a major breakage after it has been restored.