Direct Composite Restorations and Tooth-Colored Onlays create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable) but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are esthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
Treating Teeth with Direct Composite Restorations:
In our office, most cavities will be treated with tooth-colored Direct Composite Restorations. Depending on the extent of decay (cavities) present, the complete restoration of your tooth usually requires one office visit. During this visit we will remove the decay and fill your tooth with a resin-based composite (plastic) which matches your natural teeth. Composite restorations are bonded to your tooth structure and mimic the qualities of natural teeth.
Replacing Silver Fillings with a Tooth-Colored Restoration
Many people still have amalgam (silver/mercury) fillings in their mouths from years past. As long as these restorations are in tact, they can stay in your mouth. However, these fillings are not particularly pleasing to the eye, and we respect our patients’ desires to replace them with tooth-colored restorations. Broken/ cracked amalgam fillings ultimately result in a weaker tooth structure and can lead to extensive decay. Broken amalgam fillings should be replaced as soon as possible.
Tooth-Colored Onlays/ Partial Crowns
When cavities are very large in a tooth, significant tooth structure has broken away, or we are replacing a very large silver filling, porcelain onlays are a more appropriate treatment than composite fillings. Onlays provide additional protection of the remaining tooth structure of a heavily damaged tooth. The results are natural looking teeth and a beautiful smile! This procedure process requires two appointments.
Your First Appointment:
- The old filling or decay are removed, and the tooth is shaped.
- An impression of your teeth is made and sent to the lab.
- A temporary onlay is placed on the tooth.
At the Lab: A model of your teeth is made, and porcelain is carefully shaped into the model of your teeth. It is designed to fit into your natural tooth like a puzzle piece.
Your Second Appointment:
- The temporary onlay is removed.
- A conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new onlay.
- Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity light bonds the resin to the tooth.
- The tooth is then polished.
Your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!