When a tooth has a cavity or a failing filling, typically we have two materials to conservatively restore the tooth with, either with a white filling composite restoration or with an inlay onlay white porcelain restoration. One of the most common questions is what is the difference between the two?
White fillings are considered Direct Restorations because the dentist directly fabricates and places the restoration. we get predictable results with these Restorations when less than half the with of the tooth is being restored and if the filling is not supporting the bite. The wider the filling gets, the more likely the filling will support the bite, thus more likely the bond on the filling will fail due to the excessive biting Force.
Why do we care so much about the bond of the filling?
When the tooth is intact, either as a healthy tooth or a restored tooth, by bonding, the stress of the biting Force goes down the root of the tooth, which is good. When the tooth has a cavity or or has a filing restoration, the tooth structure is not intact and held together, the stress of the biting Force causes the cusp to bend. ultimately this bending can lead to fracturing of teeth. Therefore, having the best bond with the best duration is very important in determining the predictability of the success of the restoration. so when we have a larger portion of tooth structure missing needing to be repaired, we recommend inlays onlays .
Inlays onlays are indirect porcelain restorations that are fabricated by The Laboratory. After the preparing the tooth the dentist takes an impression of the Tooth for the lab. These restorations are one piece of porcelain that are cemented and bonded into the tooth. The strength of the restoration and bond to the tooth are the superior than the composite restoration thus we can predictably reinforce more tooth structure. In addition, one of the main benefits of onlays over composites is the ability to replace a cusp predictably while being conservative. you no longer have to reduce an healthy tooth structure. therefore, dentist don’t have to unnecessarily move all the way around the tooth, resulting in a conservative predictable treatment option for a large cavity or failing restoration
Dental Inlays and Onlays are porcelain fillings that are alternatives to crowns. When a tooth is cracked, or an old amalgam filling is leaking or failing, an inlay or onlay is an ideal way to restore the tooth. Dentists used to have to grind teeth down to nubs and place crowns on teeth, but not anymore.
At Atlanta Dental Spa we prefer to keep your teeth intact and restore only the unhealthy or unstable parts of your teeth.
Inlays and Onlays are more conservative than crowns for that reason, and they don’t result in that ugly gray line at the gum.
How Do You Add Porcelain Fillings?
The process is a two-visit procedure. At the first visit we remove the unhealthy part of the tooth, whether that is decay, old mercury fillings, cracks, etc. We then prepare the design of your restoration for the ceramist to follow. Our master ceramist then creates a beautiful porcelain filling to fit your tooth exactly.
Your second visit will follow after a couple weeks, and at this appointment we will bond the porcelain inlay or onlay to your tooth. Once your inlay or onlay is bonded in place, your tooth will be stronger than it was before and it will be able to bear up to 75% more chewing force. And, in some cases, your tooth will be just as strong as it was originally – before it was ever decayed or broken.