For more than 150 years, metal or amalgam fillings were the standard way of addressing cavities. While they are functional, there have been virtually no advances in metal fillings since their inception. And, there is some evidence that the mercury contained in them is dangerous to your health.
Today, if you need a filling, there are more choices. Dr. Paez offers his Las Vegas patients white fillings and pearly-white porcelain fillings. Learn more by calling Nevada Dental Esthetics at (702) 744-8007 today for a free consultation.
Types of Porcelain Fillings
Whereas metal fillings are compressed into the cavity tightly enough to keep them from falling out, porcelain fillings are bonded to the tooth and become part of it. There are two types of porcelain fillings: inlays and onlays.
Inlays are smaller and contained within the cusps of the tooth. Onlays are done for larger areas of decay and extend over to the outside surface of the tooth.
Advantages of Inlays and Onlays over Metal Fillings
- Unlike metal fillings that are highly visible, porcelain fillings are color-matched to your natural tooth so they’re hardly noticeable. Both inlays and onlays will join invisibly with your natural tooth enamel and look like part of your tooth.
- With inlays and onlays, more of the natural tooth can be preserved. Metal fillings require more tooth tissue to be drilled out, even if it isn’t decayed, so that the space will be a good shape to hold the metal filling. Porcelain bonds directly to the tooth and doesn’t require as much of the natural tooth to be removed
- Metals fillings weaken the tooth because they expand and contract with the temperature of things in your mouth. Porcelain fillings strengthen the tooth, because they’re bonded to it and hold it together.
The Inlay/Onlay Procedure
Porcelain fillings typically take two visits:
- The damaged or decayed area is removed and an impression, or mold, is taken of the tooth. The mold is sent off to one of the best dental labs in the country, which will custom-make the onlay or inlay from porcelain materials.
- Dr. Paez will bond the inlay or onlay onto the damaged tooth. While this procedure sounds simple, it requires great skill to do it correctly, so it’s important to have a cosmetic dentist who is experienced and skilled with porcelain fillings.
If you need a new filling or have old metal fillings that need to be replaced and you live in the Las Vegas area, call (702) 744-8007 or email Nevada Dental Esthetics today. We’ll be happy to schedule an appointment for your procedure. If you need more information first, we can schedule a free initial consultation with Dr. Paez.