Porcelain Fillings

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Although this is usually used for capping or for veneers, porcelain is known to also be utilised as an alternative filling material.  Porcelain and ceramics can be used either alone or as a facing for metal fillings.  These are also known as porcelain onlays or inlays and need to be sent away to be made rather than being inserted into the tooth, (they are an ‘indirect’ form of filling).  This means that you will have to make many trips tot he dentist in order to have one fitted and made properly. 

Porcelain Filling Procedure

  • As like other fillings your dentist will examine the cavity and look through your past dental records. 
  • The dentist will prepare the enamel for the filling by removing and excess food and decay using a drill or air abrasion. 
  • During your first consultation the colour of your teeth will be matched as closely as possible to the colour of the porcelain and the area being faced and the area will be measured so that your porcelain filling can be made.  Dentists can now use CADCAM, a digital scanning technique, so that the porcelain filling can be properly fitted.  You will be fitted with a temporary filling so that your cavity doesn’t cause you any pain. 
  • The porcelain is heated up so that it sets to the shape of your tooth and on your second visit it can be bonded to your teeth. 

Porcelain Filling Advantages

  • High aesthetic quality.
  • Very resistant to wear, especially when bonded with metal. 
  • Can last up to 30 years due to the unique fit and bonding process used.
  • Porcelain fillings can strengthen the tooth more than a normal amalgam fillings or white composite filling.

Porcelain Filling Disadvantages

  • They can cause problems with the opposing teeth, leading to a rough surface on the teeth.
  • More of the healthy tooth will need to be removed in order to accommodate your filling or restoration.
  • You might have increased tooth sensitivity to heat or cold for the first few days.
  • Sometimes people are allergic to types of metal used if you are having a porcelain bonded to metal filling.

Porcelain is prone to fracture on high impacts or when placed under a large amount of stress. 

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