White Fillings

Tooth Colored Fillings

Tooth-colored fillings are an alternative to traditional metal fillings and fall into two categories; direct and indirect. A direct restoration is a composite resin applied in one appointment. Indirect restorations (inlays or onlays) are made of porcelain or composite resin materials fabricated by a dental laboratory. These restorations usually take two appointments.

Are Tooth Colored Fillings Right For Me?

Among the advantages of tooth-colored fillings are:

  • Life-like aesthetic qualities
  • The preservation of more natural tooth structure
  • Optimal bio-compatibility
  • Minimal risk of allergic reaction
  • No development of metal sensitivity

What Happens At The First Appointment For Tooth Colored Fillings?

Bonding the front teeth typically requires one appointment. Dr Ty Etheridge may remove a very minor amount of tooth structure to maximize adhesion of the composite resin to the tooth, depending on the dentist’s bonding technique. A tooth conditioning agent may be applied to the prepared tooth, followed by the application of an adhesive agent and the resin for the tooth-colored filling. Your dentist will contour the resin to produce the desired aesthetic appearance and expose it to a special laser or curing light to harden the resin.

For indirect tooth-colored inlays or onlays, after tooth preparation, impressions are taken of your teeth and a replica of your mouth is created for the dental laboratory. A temporary filling is placed onto the prepared tooth for protection. At the second appointment, the temporary filling is removed and the inlay or onlay is secured with an adhesive agent.

Care Of Cosmetically Bonded Teeth & Tooth Colored Fillings.

Teeth bonded or filled with composite resin or restored with inlays or onlays should receive the same meticulous care as natural teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, tongue scraping, and professional preventive treatments to maintain proper health and appearance.

For more information on tooth colored fillings, including onlays or inlays, contact Etheridge Family Dentistry by calling or filling out the form on this page. He has extensive experience with cosmetic dental procedures, including tooth colored fillings and serves patients throughout the Greater Seattle area.


case #1

Results: Once finished with the dental care and no more long drives from BC, the patient was ecstatic with their new smile. We did not do any prepping of any teeth for veneers and happily accomplished the patient’s goals.

Details: This case has an amazing story. I met the person in passing, up in Granville Island, Vancouver, BC while getting a coffee. I saw that they was using Invisalign and asked how it was going which ended in a long frustrating story.

By the end of the conversation, I invited the patient who lived in Canada to visit my office for me to look at options with helping them finish their case and get a better aesthetic smile and function.

He came down and for about three hours I contoured and bonded composite to their teeth making the teeth appear more appropriate and naturally shaped which could guide my orthodontist to properly place the teeth into the correct position including having my periodontist place an implant.

We did SFOT (Surgically Facilitated Orthodontic Treatment) to aid in the transportation of tooth #10 into correct position along with bringing tooth #12 into missing tooth #11 location therefore being able to move the implant further from the patient’s smile area providing a great aesthetic result.


case #2

Result: They were beyond happy with their new beautiful smile. 

Details: This patient had congenitally mis-shaped teeth and was not happy with their smile. The teeth were orthodontically placed in position which then allowed me to sculpt and make their teeth more aesthetically pleasing. This case was accomplished with not altering the teeth at all, rather bonding composite directly to the teeth after sand blasting, etching and bonding composite directly to the teeth.

If the patient wanted to return to their prior natural shape, the aesthetically added composite could be removed with no harm done to their natural teeth.


case #3

Results: The patient loved the thoughtfulness and attention to detail and is thrilled with their new look.

Details: The patient was happy with their upper teeth which are nicely aligned yet had lots of spaces between teeth in the lower mouth. Looking and discussing options to resolve the spaces the patient and I decided to do bonding of composite to close the space. This conservative approach allowed us not to alter their existing teeth yet improve the aesthetics.



case #4

Results: Once completed the patient was thrilled with the outcome beyond their desires. 

Details: This patient was referred to us once their orthodontist aligned the teeth. The patient was ready for bonding of composite then final retainers. We discussed the desired outcome, and some key points were to see less gums when smiling along with a brighter smile. We whitened their teeth, raised the tissue with a laser and completed the bonded composite. 


case #5

Results: They loved the care, guidance, and most of all how their smile looks now. 

Details: This patient had worn down their front teeth causing their upper and lower teeth to not align well. This was further aggravated by a prior habit of nail biting.

We used Invisalign to contour (and) pull the lower teeth back away from colliding into the front upper teeth then placed bonded composite on front upper six (6) teeth to recreate proper function and aesthetics. The case turned out wonderful with bringing the teeth back to function properly and provide a more youthful natural look.


case #6

Results: The patient was very appreciative with the care and consideration we took with the restoration of their smile.

Details: The patient presented for a second opinion after crashing into a ladder during a physical ninja contest. They were told they would need two porcelain veneers to restore their smile.

After a thorough exam, I evaluated all options and realized the teeth would (potentially-delete) (not-add) collide, so, I felt this case could be restored with bonded composite replacing the missing portions of the teeth. The patient loved this approach, and we discussed that if this didn’t last, we could then always migrate to porcelain, though that approach would be more aggressive with some reduction of the natural tooth structure.

This trauma occurred about 8 years ago, and as of today, the bonded composite is still 100%. The results are great, and I would say the patient is happy with the approach and results. 


case #7

Results: It is always so amazing and rewarding to see you helped someone get a beautiful smile and be so happy with their dental care. 

Details: The patient hated to smile or see any pictures of her smile. I went through thoughts of doing Invisalign and porcelain veneers, but, upon further examination and learning the patient didn’t sleep well and suffered migraines(,) I felt they may have sleep issues so did not want to close any spaces and make them more restricted. I encouraged them to get their sleep tested. 

In the end we kept the teeth in the current position and used bonded composite to correct their smile. When we sat the patient up and had them look at the work, I remember how they gasped and then just started to cry with happiness. 


case #8

Results: We took a conservative approach and the patient loved how we accomplished the smile they are now proud of. 

Details: This patient came into our office with older bonded composite on the four front teeth and they were tired of seeing their smile the way it was. We discussed doing porcelain veneers and bonded composites. In the end we decided to reshape the teeth and apply bonded composites. 


case #9

Results: The patient was very happy with our conservative approach and keeping costs in line with their budget.

Details: They presented with significant wear across all their teeth from years of grinding. For years the patient wore a night guard and tried to keep the wear from progressing until they were able to move forward with the dental work. At one point we discussed trying to keep the cost down by doing bonded composites all along with recapturing the tooth function and guidance. We ended up performing and creating 10 (ten) bonded composite veneers. 

We were successful for years and later have changed the four (front teeth) to porcelain while all the others still remain as composites. 


case #10

Results: We accomplished a great result with less time and money and the patient was truly excited about their new smile. 

Details: I remember when this patient came in for a consult and wanted to do veneers. They had several retained baby teeth with no adult teeth to succeed into position of those baby teeth. 

She was told by another dentist that these baby teeth would fail at around age 30. Being nearly 30, they were very concerned about losing their teeth without the adult teeth to replace them.

Upon reviewing X-rays, I determined that they had solid retained baby teeth and advised them that they were not going to fall out and to not worry about failure any time soon. I advised that they could have them for life if they keep them healthy and wears retainers. 

To complete their smile, we decided to only do bonded composite work, this would give the patient the desired result and resolve the image of the teeth being crowded all while not damaging the teeth at all. 


See what patients are saying

Care to leave a review? Click the link below and tell us about your experience.

Ready to get started?
still have questions?
we are here to help!

When it comes to your oral health, the team of professionals at Etheridge Family Dentistry is ready to serve you!