Inlays and onlays are used to replace your silver fillings. These restorations are usually made from composite resin material, porcelain, or gold. Once placed, they are virtually undetectable in the mouth, and they conserve much of your natural tooth structure.
For an inlay to be successful, it is best if the cavity involves only the occlusal surface (chewing surface) and one proximal surface (surface in between the teeth). The other proximal surface should be free of decay. An onlay, which is similar to an inlay, covers the entire proximal surface and protects the cusps from fracture. Treatment involves isolation of the tooth and removal of the old fillings under local anesthesia. Once your dentist makes an impression, the inlay/onlay is created from porcelain, gold, or composite resin material. The inlay/onlay is then cemented securely into place. Inlays and onlays usually take 2 to 3 appointments to complete. The onlay is the best alternative for covering larger surface restorations. An inlay/onlay looks exactly like the rest of the tooth, and is so durable that it doesn’t need to be replaced for years.
Aesthetic Enhancements: Bonding & Tooth Colored Fillings
Bonding involves the direct application of tooth-colored composite resin and is typically used to create a more attractive smile
Tooth-colored fillings are an alternative to traditional metal fillings and fall into two categories; direct and indirect. Direct restorations is 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.
Is Bonding Right For Me?
Bonding can be employed to change the size or shape of your teeth, creating a smile that appears more symmetrical and space free. This single-visit procedure provides a fast solution for a more attractive smile and may eliminate the need for orthodontic treatment in some cases.
Tooth stains and discolorations that resist professional tooth whitening procedures may also be masked by bonding. Although bonding may not be as long lasting as porcelain veneers or crowns, it can last for a number of years with proper care.
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 biocompatibility
- Minimal risk of allergic reaction
- No development of metal sensitivity.
What Happens At The First Appointment?
Bonding the front teeth typically requires one appointment. The dentist 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 tooth-colored resin. The 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.