With the amazing advancements that have been made in modern dentistry, metal amalgam fillings could be obsolete. Today's tooth-colored composites are safer, stronger, more attractive and more enduring alternatives to amalgam. Composite "white" fillings, made of composite resin, are used to restore teeth that have small cavities. They are called "white" fillings because of the natural, tooth color of the resin. Unlike inlays and onlays that are crafted in an outside lab, composite fillings can be made on-site and completed in only one office visit. Composed of hard plastic that bonds to the tooth, composites are more conservative restorations than metal, requiring far less drilling and loss of healthy tooth structure to prepare the tooth for repair. Most importantly, composites are safer for the teeth they're meant to protect. Metal amalgams expand and contract when exposed to heat and cold. This movement weakens the tooth wall and can cause fractures. It also allows bacteria to enter and cause decay. Amalgam also contains mercury, a toxic element.
Current literature is unclear as to the amount of mercury that is released from amalgams and the long-term effects on health. A composite "white" filling is used when the patient desires a natural-looking restoration. The composite filling material is made on-site and the procedure can be completed in only one office visit. Whether you have cavities and repairs that need to be made now or are looking to have old metal fillings replaced, we are ready to help your smile and dental health be the best that it can be.
What are inlays and onlays?
When a cavity or old filling that needs to be replaced is too large for a traditional filling, the dentist uses inlays and onlays made of porcelain or composite resin to restore a tooth. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. Inlays, similar to a filling, are used inside the cusp tips of a tooth. Onlays are a more substantial reconstruction, extending out over one or more of the cusps of a tooth. Inlays and onlays made of high strength resins or porcelain can actually increase tooth strength by approximately 80%. The dentist prefers these procedures when possible over a full coverage crown in order to be more conservative and preserve natural tooth structure