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Tooth Colored Fillings

Most people have needed a tooth filling for some or the other reason at least once in their lives – be it to repair a cavity or restore damaged teeth. And that makes tooth fillings one of the most commonly opted-for dental procedures in the world!

The most commonly used tooth fillings were primarily made from a mixture or amalgam of silver and other metals. Now, gone are the days when fillings meant embarrassing silver-black fillings that would stand out as dark spots on your teeth whenever you smiled. Today, it’s possible to have metal free tooth fillings that look just like natural teeth – introducing tooth colored fillings. Tooth colored fillings will allow you to transform your smile to a cleaner, whiter and more beautiful looking smile without anyone coming to know about older cavities.

These days, the type of restorative material used in fillings is decided on the basis of the size of the cavity that remains after all the old restorative material, fractures and older filling material (if any) has been removed. So the three most commonly used materials in tooth restorations are:

Composite (Plastic) Fillings

Composite fillings are very durable, and are made of tooth colored plastic and glass to give them the look of natural teeth. These are used in cases where the loss of tooth structure is less than 40%.

What is a composite resin filling?

It’s a high quality, tooth colored material made from plastic and fine glass particles. It can be used for functional as well as rewarding purposes – be it for a cosmetic improvement or be it in restoring decayed areas or even disfigured teeth.

How is it placed?

- First, the tooth is prepared. Then it, along with the neighboring teeth, is isolated. The dentist will then place composite resin of different colors and translucencies in different layers, to produce a life-like restoration.
- Each layer is individually hardened with a special “curing light”
- When the resin sets, the tooth is then shaped to fit in with the rest of teeth and get a good bite.
- Lastly, the composite resin is then polished so as to prevent staining and wear and tear.

How long does the procedure take?

Depending on the size and position of the composite, the whole procedure can take anywhere between 30 – 60 minutes, of which 10-20 minutes will be used to place the actual composite. Of this, it takes 5-10 mins to isolate the tooth in question.

How can a Composite Resin filling help?

- The best part of a composite resin filling is that it looks just like any other natural tooth – because our dentists can create a color that is almost identical to the color of your natural teeth.
- By bonding over the natural tooth, composites also support the remaining structure, and prevent breakage, as well as insulate the tooth against other changes.
- They are cost effective option as compared to cerec or lab produced porcelain inlays and onlays, making it easier for a wider base.

Are there any downsides or disadvantages?

- Composite fillings might tend to lose color sooner than say, porcelain inlays, if there is excessive consumption of foods and drinks that can stain.
- They are weaker as compared to porcelain based restorations.
- There are limitations to support the tooth when over 40% of tooth structure is lost.

How long will it last?

Composite resins can last as long up to- 7-8 years, but only if it is placed correctly and maintained correctly.

Ceramic (Porcelain) Inlays & Onlays

This is the recommended way to go when the loss in tooth structure is between 40% - 60%. They are made in house or by master technicians if sent to another lab.The first visit sees removal of decay, fractures or any older restorative material. We take an impression / scans of your teeth, and send that off to our lab. We place a temporary filling to protect the tooth, till the porcelain inlay / onlay is ready. On your second visit, we remove the temporary filling and bond your porcelain inlay / onlay in place.

Inlays and onlays are designed to be very strong, to protect the tooth from fractures, and actually strengthen the tooth. An inlay typically covers up to three surfaces of the tooth and is used for smaller restorations, whereas an only covers more area, including the chewing surface of the tooth. What’s more, when these are made with porcelain, you can perfectly match the color and shape of your teeth, without anyone around even coming to know.

Inlays and onlays are great to resolve any issues caused by modern decay, specifically when there is:

- A requirement to strengthen or reinforce a tooth
- A need to fix any type of decay or a portion of any tooth
- A wish to remove the minimal possible healthy tooth structure, so as to prevent a possible root canal expense in the future
- A preference for a durable restoration that will stay for a long time


A crown is used when less than 40% of the original tooth structure remains, and there is not enough support to hold a filling or an onlay. In such cases, it is best to cover up the tooth to protect it from further breakage or fracturing.


There are many way to enhance your smile, and tooth colored fillings are a great way to get back that confidence. At Magical Smiles, our extensive experience in cosmetic dentistry will give you complete peace of mind that you are going to be in the best hands in #Melbourne.

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