Porcelain fillings are made from strong and natural looking ceramic material which are long-lasting and biocompatible. In combination with accurate scanning and computer processing technology, it can be made within hours, provide a better fit and require the dentist to trim less of the remaining tooth structure when compared to conventional crowns. It can also be made to match the colour of the surrounding teeth. The use of new generation cements which are adhesive and radiopaque allow better bond with the remaining tooth and allow dentists to check the fit and seal of the crown.
Comparing Porcelain Fillings with Alternatives
Decayed teeth were traditionally filled with amalgam, a mix of silver and other metals with mercury. These eventually became discoloured over time and its use has decreased in recent years due to the presence of mercury, a known toxic material. In addition, the desire for more aesthetic and biocompatible materials, resulted in the development of tooth-coloured fillings composite resins. When the cavity is small, composite resins are adequate but when large sections of teeth need to be replaced, porcelains and zirconia, which are strong and durable are a better choice.
What is the Procedure?
Any decay is removed and the remaining tooth prepared before either making a mould or taking a digital scan of the cavity.
Our in-house laboratory then uses computer technology to design the filling.
A fully automated milling machine is then used to cut the prefabricated blocks to the desired shape and
The final product heat-treated to harden.
Porcelain fillings can be completed in 3 hours but if Zirconia is required, an additional 8 hours of laboratory time is required and you will need to return to the clinic the following day for cementing the filling in position.
What if the filling is very large?
If damage to the tooth is extensive, a filling may not be a stable long-term solution and more of the tooth may need to be trimmed for better retention. In this case a half-crown or even a full crown may have to be considered. Half-crowns are a compromise between better cosmetics, strength and stability while limiting tooth preparation to the minimum necessary to achieve our intended objective of restoring the tooth to full function.
Full crowns are required for teeth which are badly broken down. It should be noted that if the filling lies below the gum margin, a surgical procedure may also be required.