Dental FillingAn Overview
Dr. Weinstock offers patients tooth-colored dental fillings for their safety and aesthetic appeal. Traditional metal fillings have high levels of mercury that are believed to be associated with medical risks.
Modern resin fillings can be color-matched to blend seamlessly with the patient’s natural smile, and are mercury-free. Dental fillings are highly effective at restoring a tooth that has suffered from decay or minor damage.
Replacing Metal Fillings
Dr. Weinstock offers patients the choice to remove old silver fillings and have them replaced with resin tooth-colored fillings. Patients may choose to have this procedure done when their metal fillings are visible or in the “smile-zone”. Many patients have silver/mercury (amalgam) fillings from years past in their mouths.
These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/mercury fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth. Porcelain inlays and composite resins create fillings that are not only beautiful (and practically undetectable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new adhesive technologies.
Dental Filling What to Expect
Inlays and Onlays
When over half of the tooth’s chewing surface has been damaged, a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay.
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth; an onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.
How are inlays & onlays applied?
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete. During the first visit, the filling that is to be replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay.
To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made by the dentist and sent to a lab for fabrication. A temporary onlay will then be fitted to the tooth and your next appointment will be scheduled.
At the second appointment, Dr. Weinstock will then fit the inlay or onlay restoration. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50 percent. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, being bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.