Dental Restorations

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One of the first things people notice about you is your smile. We provide the highest-quality restorative services for patients whose mouths have been damaged by dental disease or injury. We offer several restorative options, including fillings, inlays and onlays.

Fillings

The concept of a “filling” is replacing and restoring your damaged tooth structure, due to decay or fracture, with a material. We place three different types of fillings, made from different materials, including:

  • Silver amalgam – Silver was once the most commonly used material when it came to dental restorations, such as fillings. However, silver fillings do not have much aesthetic appeal to patients.

  • Gold fillings – Gold fillings are very durable, able to last approximately 10 to 15 years. The main drawback to gold fillings is the cost of the restoration, since gold is a precious metal.

  • White fillings – After much research, some new tooth-colored materials have been developed that are stronger, longer-lasting and more aesthetically pleasing to our patients. Composed of porcelain and composite resin, these new tooth-colored fillings bond directly to the tooth, strengthening it by restoring most of its original shape. The fillings can even be custom-colored to match your teeth to help give you the most natural-looking smile possible.

    These new fillings require less removal of your healthy tooth structure to place than those with amalgams and especially with new cavities. Dramatically smaller holes are needed with a tooth-colored filling.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations. They are great alternatives to traditional metal fillings primarily because less tooth structure needs to be removed. Inlays and onlays are suitable for treating mild to moderate decay, and they can be used to restore a cracked or fractured tooth if the damage is not extensive enough to require a crown.

Generally, inlays are small restorations that fit within the contours of the biting surface of a tooth, while onlays cover a portion or the entire chewing surface.

Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin. Once fabricated, they are securely bonded to the tooth.

The advantages of inlays and onlays include:

  • Since they can be fabricated from tooth-colored materials, inlays and onlays are aesthetically pleasing. Unlike metal fillings, the restoration is virtually invisible.
  • Less removal of the tooth structure is required to achieve optimal results.
  • They do not cause excessive wear and tear to opposing tooth structures.
  • Inlays and onlays prevent the need for more significant treatment in the future.

The process for placing inlays and onlays generally requires two or more office visits. Initially, once the decay is removed, Dr. White will take an impression of the tooth. A temporary restoration is placed until the custom-made inlay/onlay is manufactured in a laboratory.

Following a proper oral hygiene regimen daily ensures the success and longevity of your new restoration.