Patients have a choice when it comes to dental restorations. Dental amalgam is a silver colored material used to restore teeth. Our team and many patients agree—it doesn't look natural. There are other restorative materials that do look natural.
For teeth that have small to medium damage, dental composites are a viable option. They are tooth colored and can even make your teeth look brighter. Composites are bonded to the teeth and can feel very comfortable. In order to provide a comfortable composite, we take continuing education courses to keep up with advances in technology. In fact, our office attends several continuing education meetings each year. Advancements in technology have made the use of composites much easier for all those involved.
There are good restorative options for teeth with significant damage. Porcelain onlays look natural and are very strong. There is less smoothing of tooth structure than a crown. The patient benefits in that good tooth structure is saved. Onlays can be bonded to a tooth very strongly and a specific protocol is followed.
Onlays (and crowns) can be completed in one visit in our office. Instead of having a large impression taken, have that sent to a lab, and then have to wait for fabrication, and then return to the dentist again, onlays can be completed for you in one appointment that takes about one hour. A computer will optically scan your tooth and a milling machine will carve the restorations out of a porcelain block. It's really exciting that patients can have a tooth colored restoration that is strong and can be completed in one visit.