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Fillings & Bonding

Home  /  Fillings & Bonding

The intersection of art and science.

What different types of fillings are there?

There are two main types of dental fillings, metal and tooth-colored.

Metal Fillings

Amalgam

This is a common type of filling that is silver in appearance. It is composed of several metals, including: mercury, tin, silver and copper. Decades ago, amalgam fillings were the standard of care due to their incredible strength, durability, and relatively low cost compared to other options. At whole dental wellness, we still use amalgam fillings today in certain cases every day. However, some of our patients elect not to have amalgam placed as you do notice these fillings more due to their silver appearance.

Cast Gold

While expensive, cast gold is an incredibly strong and long-lasting dental material. However like amalgam, it is very noticeable. Believe it or not, some of our patients are looking for this highly visible, gold look, while the majority prefer a more natural, white option that blends seamlessly with their adjacent teeth. Should you need a filling, we will review all the material choices with you so you can make the most educated decision that is right for you.

Tooth-Colored Fillings

Composite

Arguably the most popular option, composite fillings are made of plastic and glass and, when applied ideally, are hard to distinguish from natural tooth structure. They are more expensive than amalgam fillings but provide a natural look and with recent improvements in these materials, they have been shown to last just as long.

Glass Ionomer

Similar in appearance to composites, glass ionomers are made up of acrylic and glass powder, are relatively inexpensive, and contain small amounts of fluoride that are slowly released to help protect against cavities. While they do blend in naturally like composites, they do not last as long. The primary use of these materials is in patients with a high decay risk or in kids, as they are very helpful in preventing future decay in high risk individuals.

Porcelain

To achieve the highest level of beauty and esthetics, porcelain is often are material of choice. It is typically more costly than composites but recent advances have improved the strength and durability of this material so it is often the material of choice when working in the smile zone or if larger types of restorations (like crowns or veneers) are recommended.

What is composite dental bonding?

Cosmetic tooth bonding is an inexpensive way to transform your smile and dramatically improve the way you feel.

Dental bonding is a form of smile artistry where our medium is composite resin and your teeth are our canvas.  Today’s resins are so highly evolved that, in the hands of our highly trained dentists, it is nearly impossible to distinguish these restorations from natural tooth structure.

We are able to provide you options to address imperfections in or on your teeth, giving you the more attractive smile you’ve been looking for.  Bonding can be used to fill gaps between teeth, improve the color of the teeth and mask discolorations, repair chipped areas, change the size and/or shape of teeth, and give rooked teeth a straight-looking appearance.

How does the process work?

At whole dental wellness, our dentists will work with you to seamlessly and painlessly blend the bonding material onto your existing teeth.  During the treatment planning appointment, our experts will determine the complexity of your case.  Typically, dental bonding is a relatively simple procedure that is completed in one visit.  For small or minor corrections, the resin is color matched to your teeth in our office.  For major restorations or full smile makeovers,  sometimes our experts will choose to take digital impressions of your teeth and send them to a lab to have your restorations made out of the office.  In these cases, the actual bonding procedure takes place on a following visit, typically a week or two later.

Application of bonding agent

First, a gel solution is painted on to an area of natural tooth which hardens the surface and allows for tight bond.  Next, a putty like, resin that contains color pigments matched perfectly to your adjacent teeth is then placed and adapted to your natural teeth.  A  UV light is used to harden the material after it is placed in the correct position.  Finally, your new filling is polished for an optimal shine.  You will leave our office smiling with your gorgeous new smile.

How long will it last?

The lifespan or durability of dental bonding varies greatly between individuals.  On average, dental bonding will last up to 15 years if properly cared for, but some people may need polishing and adjustments to ensure the tight bond remains earlier than that.  We will work with you to ensure you understand how to best care for your new restorations and place you on a regular cleaning schedule so if any problems arise, we catch them and correct them ASAP.