Inlays & Onlays

We strive to be a mercury-free practice. Whenever possible, we will fill any small cavities with a white, natural looking composite resin filling. In some cases, however, placing a direct composite resin is not possible due to the large size of the cavity. Instead of treating these large cavities with a silver amalgam restoration, we can instead give you an esthetic tooth colored porcelain inlay or onlay. Many people still have large silver amalgam fillings in their mouths from years past. These fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we know that by unavoidable design, silver/amalgam fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure. Porcelain tooth-colored inlays and onlays create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also can add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.

Disadvantages of large silver fillings:

Large silver fillings have many drawbacks. The edges of the silver filling can wear down, become weak or break. This results in the tooth not being protected and lets cavities get started once again. With age, the metal of a silver filling expands, contracts, and can split.

Silver fillings contain 50 percent mercury. They can corrode, leak and cause stains on your teeth and gums.

Fortunately, silver fillings can safely be replaced with Tooth-Colored Restorations.

Advantages of Tooth-Colored Restorations

There are many advantages to tooth-colored restorations. Tooth-colored onlays are bonded to the teeth creating a tight, superior fit to the natural tooth. Such restorations can be used in instances where much of the tooth structure has been lost. The tooth remains intact and stronger.

Since the resin used in tooth-colored restorations contain fluoride this can help prevent decay. The resin wears like natural teeth and does not require placement at the gum line, which is healthier for your gums!

The result is a beautiful smile!

Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth-Colored Onlay

You can have your large silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored onlays. This process requires two appointments.

Your First Appointment:

  1. The old filling is removed along with any additional decay.
  2. An impression is made of your teeth. A model of your teeth is made and sent to the lab.
  3. A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth.

At the Lab: A resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth. It is then designed to look natural.

Your Second Appointment:

  1. The temporary onlay is removed.
  2. A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
  3. Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
  4. The tooth is then polished.

Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!