When a tooth is decayed, it’s important that the cavity be cleaned and filled. Having this done sooner rather than later helps to prevent the tooth decay from progressing and increases the possibility that a decayed tooth can be salvaged. But few patients are thrilled about the possibility of having a mouth filled with metal.
In the past, dental fillings were usually made with a metal amalgam of silver or gold, usually mixed with mercury, copper, tin, or zinc. Metal fillings were easy to apply and lasted a very long time, but they didn’t look very natural. These days, your Coral Gables cosmetic dentist will apply fillings that generally match the natural color of the tooth.
A dentist has two options for dental bonding: porcelain and resin composite. Porcelain fillings are generally inlays or onlays. An onlay is similar to a porcelain veneer in that it covers a large portion of the tooth (including the cavity), whereas an inlay is a piece of porcelain that’s custom milled to fit inside the cavity and be secured with a dental adhesive. Porcelain fillings generally resist staining and are long-lasting, but it takes longer to order them and they’re generally more expensive than resin.
A resin filling is a type of epoxy that’s placed within the cavity and then hardened. The resin may harden naturally over time, or the dentist may use a special light to activate the hardening component of the resin. Resin looks like a natural tooth and can usually be applied the same day as the cavity is drilled and treated. Resin composite fillings can be stained, and they won’t last as long as porcelain fillings.
The filling option you select will be determined by you and your dentist. While your Coral Gables cosmetic dentist will attempt to maintain a natural and healthy smile, she also needs to ensure that your fillings are appropriate for your teeth and will help to restore or maintain the function of your teeth.
Dr. Aller has been voted the best cosmetic dentist in Coral Gables four years in a row, and she uses dental bonding to help her patients fill their cavities and protect the look and use of their teeth.