Fillings

Amalgam Fillings (Silver)

Fillings are used to repair a tooth that fractured either from decay or trauma. The dentist uses the restoration material to restore the broken tooth back to health so that it can be used again for everyday functions like eating and looking good in a smile. There are many different options for restoring teeth. Each has advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Due to its longevity, for chairside restorations, we recommend amalgam fillings for back teeth where aesthetics are not as much of a concern and durability is of paramount importance. Like all restorations, amalgam fillings are not permanent and may someday need replacement. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting smile.

Following the placement of a filling, it is normal to experience mild sensitivity especially to cold. We recommend that patients wait 2-3 weeks after a filling for the sensitivity to subside. If the sensitivity persists, you may require either a sedative filling to calm the tooth down, or root canal therapy. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

Composite Fillings

Fillings are used to repair a tooth that fractured either from decay or trauma. The dentist uses the restoration material to restore the broken tooth back to health so that it can be used again for everyday functions like eating and looking good in a smile. There are many different options for restoring teeth. Each has advantages and disadvantages. We will discuss the best options for restoring your teeth. Composite fillings can be matched to the color of existing teeth and are best suited for teeth that are more visible. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

Composite restorations can be used to restore chipped or decayed teeth but also to close spaces between teeth. They are very technique sensitive and require a dry, sterile environment. If the tooth becomes wet during the procedure, the tooth colored filling will not “stick” to the tooth and will be very susceptible to decay or fracture. If we are unable to properly isolate the tooth during the procedure, we will discuss other treatment options with the patient. Because of the nature of the materials used to place composite restorations, post-operative sensitivity is very common. We recommend that patients wait 2-3 weeks after a filling for the sensitivity to subside. If the sensitivity persists, you may require either a sedative filling to calm the tooth down, or root canal therapy. Good oral hygiene practices, eating habits, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new fillings.

Onlays

Cast Gold

One of the best options for conservatively restoring a decay tooth or a tooth with a fractured cusp is to place an onlay. In contrast to amalgam or composite restorations, onlays are custom fabricated by a dental laboratory outside of the dental office. They are cemented or bonded to the tooth and, given proper homecare, may last for many years. I have patients with onlays that are 40-50 years old.

Cast gold onlays are the best option for restoring back teeth that are broken, fractured, or that have large existing restorations that are failing. They are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings. They are made in the same manner as full-coverage crowns, but maintain much more natural tooth structure.

An onlay procedure requires two appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared for the onlay. An impression (mold) of the preparation is taken to be sent to the laboratory. A temporary restoration is placed to wear until the next appointment. The lab makes a plaster model of the tooth to be restored and, using precision instruments, fabricates the onlay in the lab. Because they are able to look at the model of the tooth directly, an onlay can be formed that fits the tooth exactly. At the second appointment, the temporary restoration is removed and the tooth is cleaned off. The onlay is fitted and adjusted, if necessary. Once the fit is perfect, the onlay is cemented into place and polished. You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.

Porcelain

One of the best options for conservatively restoring a decayed tooth or a tooth with a fractured cusp is to place an onlay. Porcelain onlays are the best option for restoring teeth that are going to be visible when smiling. They are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings. They are made in the same manner as full-coverage crowns, but maintain much more natural tooth structure. In contrast to amalgam or composite restorations, onlays are custom fabricated by a dental laboratory outside of the dental office. They are cemented or bonded to the tooth and, given proper homecare, may last for many years. I have patients with onlays that are 40-50 years old.

An onlay procedure requires two appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared for the onlay. An impression (mold) of the preparation is taken to be sent to the laboratory. A temporary restoration is placed to wear until the next appointment. The lab makes a plaster model of the tooth to be restored and, using precision instruments, fabricates the onlay in the lab. Because they are able to look at the model of the tooth directly, an onlay can be formed that fits the tooth exactly. At the second appointment, the temporary restoration is removed and the tooth is cleaned off. The onlay is fitted and adjusted, if necessary. Once the fit is perfect, the onlay is cemented into place and polished. You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new onlay.

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