Tooth Colored Restorations
Tooth-colored inlays and onlays are durable, non-metallic restorations used to replace large metallic fillings and to restore fractured or decayed tooth structure. Inlays and onlays are nearly indiscernible from natural teeth. They are less costly alternatives to full crowns and are more conservative since more tooth structure can be preserved.
Inlays and onlays typically require two appointments. During the first appointment, your dentist removes the existing filling or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth and prepares the tooth for the inlay or onlay. An impression of the tooth is made for fabrication of the inlay or onlay. He then matches the color to adjacent teeth and places a temporary restoration. Detailed instructions are communicated to the laboratory technicians who create the final restoration. The laboratory requires approximately 3 weeks to fabricate the restoration. During the second appointment, your dentist verifies the fit of the restoration and then permanently bonds it in place.
For years, silver fillings or amalgams were used to restore teeth that had sustained minimal decay or small fractures. Today, patients are electing tooth-colored fillings to improve esthetics, replace amalgam fillings that have failed, and to address their concerns about the mercury content of metal fillings. Advances in composite resins allow for tooth-colored fillings that serve the same purpose as the metal fillings and are virtually undetectable. The cost for tooth-colored restorations is relatively the same as that for metal fillings.
During the office visit, Dr. Shuster or Dr. Smith removes the old filling, or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth. Then, the tooth is prepared to receive the filling. He then carefully selects the appropriate colored filling material and shapes it to the contours of your natural teeth.
Benefits of Tooth-Colored Restorations:
- Metal-free restorations
- Restores natural esthetics to teeth
- Durable restorations
- More conservative and cost effective than full crown