Porcelain onlays or inlays are a popular alternative to traditional amalgam fillings. At Cosmetic and Reconstructive Dentistry of New York, Dr. Jessica A. Pandich offers custom created porcelain onlays as an option to patients who require restorative care and want an aesthetically pleasing outcome near Bryant Park and Grand Central in Midtown Manhattan.
Both are restorative options for patients who have developed a degree of tooth decay. In decades past, patients and practitioners had few options when it came to addressing cavities. Amalgam fillings were the industry norm, and were used to seal off the area of decay in an effort to prevent further damage to the tooth. The dentist would use a drill to remove any visible decay, and then the amalgam material was placed into the resulting depression in the surface of the tooth. As that material hardened, it would shrink, which could leave a small gap through which bacteria could enter. Porcelain onlays or inlays are custom created porcelain fillings that serve the same basic purpose as traditional metal fillings, but without causing additional damage to the structure of the tooth.
The process of filling a cavity with a porcelain onlay or onlay requires two short office visits. During the first visit, the practitioner will remove any existing metal fillings, and also remove any areas of decay present on the tooth. Photos are taken and an impression of the tooth is made, which is then sent to a dental lab where the inlay will be created. During the second visit, the custom onlay or inlay is carefully bonded into position.
Many patients seek porcelain onlays for aesthetic purposes. The porcelain material is created to be a nearly perfect match with each patient’s natural teeth, and is virtually invisible once in place. Even more importantly, porcelain inlays and onlays serve to seal off the area of decay with a near perfect bond that will not shrink or expand. That preserves and enhances the strength of the tooth, whereas traditional metal fillings place additional pressure on the structure of the tooth that can eventually cause the tooth to break.
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