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Tooth Coloured Restorations

This section has been created for you to understand the different tooth coloured materials that can be used to restore your teeth.

Option 3 (GIC)

Option 2 (Composite Resin)

Option 3 (Ceramic)

Two tooth coloured materials exist:

a) Composite resin 

b) Ceramics 


  • Composite resin (cost effective and predictable bonding for small cavities lasting 5-12 years, preserves tooth tissue, excellent aesthetics, completed in one visit, difficult to restore full anatomy-crucial for maintaing jaw movements, moderate longevity,water uptake). Best result is when this is made in the laboratory. Can also be made chairside (1 visit)
  • Ceramics (does not stain, most stable material -does not disintegrate, excellent bond to tooth which can equal the strength of natural teeth, longest lasting for large cavities, last 5-15 years, highly polished, easier to clean, attracts less bacteria)

What you should know

  • To decide which material to use it is important to know the difference between direct and indirect restorations.
  • Direct restorations: undergo in situ setting, require considerably more time(keeping the mouth open) to place as the technique is very delicate (to minimise sensitivity, obtain the correct shape to minimise food trapping and optimum bite properties) directly made inside the mouth and
  • Indirect restorations: pre-fabricated restorations that are then bonded to the tooth tissue (made outside the mouth by the dentist or in the laboratory)
  • Two materials (resin composite and ceramic) to choose from.
  • Resin composite is suitable for small restorations. Large restorations can develop microcracks.
  • Ceramics are suitable if you don’t mind more time (requires two visits) and money to get a long-lasting result.
  • Ceramics can fracture just like natural teeth when loaded with extra stress. They can wear opposing teeth and metal restorations.
  • Are sealed to teeth strengthening the existing structure.
  • Crowns may involve removing significant amounts of healthy tooth tissue. Suitable for severe discolourations or for moderately discoloured teeth that have additional aesthetic and/or functional problems.
  • You should consider teeth whitening prior to having the tooth coloured restorations so the colour can be matched accordingly.

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