Dental fillings (also called inlays and onlays) are used to fill the area of a tooth where decayed material (a cavity) was removed. Patients may choose among amalgam, gold, composite resin, or porcelain to fill a cavity. Porcelain is the only material available for dental fillings that is BPA free, mercury free, durable, and aesthetically pleasing.
Advantages of Porcelain Fillings
- Porcelain has a strengthening effect on the tooth
- Porcelain virtually blends in with the natural tooth
- Porcelain is resistant to staining
While amalgam fillings are inexpensive, they blacken over time and make the teeth appear gray. Amalgam fillings can also cause teeth to fracture over time, and they also contain mercury, which is a substance that can potentially cause a wide variety of ailments if ingested or inhaled.
Composite resin is made to match the natural color of the teeth, but it may chip or wear over time. Composite resin does not last as long as the other options for fillings, and it can be easily stained by coffee, tea, or tobacco. In addition, composite resin is a weaker material than porcelain, contains BPA, and has an average life span in the mouth of two years.
Gold alloy is another option for dental fillings. Gold is very durable and is well-tolerated by the gums and oral tissues. While some patients prefer the appearance of gold to silver, most agree that porcelain is by far the best aesthetically.
Porcelain Fillings: What to Expect
When porcelain fillings are used to restore a cavity, Dr. Jaime Elizabeth Sands will remove the tooth decay, defects or cracks at the first appointment. An impression will be made of the area, and a custom-fit porcelain filling will be created by her master ceramist. Your tooth will be temporarily filled so that you will be able to eat. At the second appointment, the temporary filling will be removed and replaced with the customized porcelain filling, which will be bonded to the tooth with cement to add additional strength.
Porcelain Fillings FAQ
Porcelain inlays and onlays are just alternate names for porcelain fillings. An inlay refers to restoring the inside of the tooth, and it covers the chewing surface of the tooth between the cusps. An onlay will cover more of the top of the tooth, including one or two of the cusps as well as the inside.
Porcelain fillings generally last longer and are also less likely to come loose than traditional amalgam fillings and/or composite resin fillings.
Porcelain actually bonds to the tooth structure, which is how the strength is obtained.
Dr. Jamie Elizabeth Sands uses the most advanced techniques and materials to provide optimal results for her patients in Studio City. If you are interested in porcelain fillings to restore a cavity or damaged tooth, please contact our office today by calling (818) 766-6767. For your convenience, you may also fill out our online contact form.