Restorative dental options with tooth-colored dental fillings, inlays, and onlays
Did you know that cavities are one of the most common chronic diseases affecting people of all ages? While caring for your teeth and gums with regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits can go a long way towards preventing tooth decay, cavities can also occur for a variety of reasons beyond your control. At Kenner Dental Group in Burien, Washington, we use a gentle touch and tooth-colored, biocompatible materials when placing dental fillings and other restorations.
The advantages of tooth-colored fillings
For many decades, dentists used a material called amalgam (“silver fillings”) to fill cavities. While this material is durable and effective at filling in the lost tooth structure, it has several drawbacks. First is the unsightly silver/gray color that is unnatural and unaesthetic. Second, amalgam requires intention removal of a large amount of healthy tooth structure for it to be placed. Third, and most importantly, it puts significant stress on a tooth. As it sets, amalgam actually expands, which puts constant outward pressure on cusps which over time leads to stress cracks and often fractures.
At Kenner Dental Group, we use only adhesive composite materials for dental fillings. This offers several significant advantages:
- Aesthetics: The natural white color of composite fillings blends seamlessly with your smile
- Tooth Preservation: Significantly less healthy tooth structure needs to be removed to place composite fillings.
- Adhesion: Composite restorations form an excellent adhesive bond with your natural tooth. When placed with biomimetic technique, this bond not only strengthens the tooth but also helps seal out disease-causing bacteria.
Additionally, composite fillings are durable and long-lasting, but should any damage occur (due to issues such as grinding and clenching your teeth), composite fillings can be repaired, so they function and look like new.
Dental inlays and onlays
Sometimes, patients have areas of decay that are too large for a dental filling, but a full dental crown would be more than what is needed to repair the tooth. In these cases, inlays or onlays are the ideal treatment options. These restorations can be made from high-strength composite or ceramic materials, depending on several factors. They are made to cover either the biting surface of the tooth (inlays) or the biting surface plus one or more tooth cusps (onlays). In most offices, inlays and onlays require two visits to complete as they would be made in a dental laboratory. At Kenner Dental Group, we have combined the biomimetic technique with Cerec same-day technology to provide our patients inlays or onlays in one visit!
Dr. Kenner practices conservative biomimetic dentistry, which means he will always recommend the treatment option that will preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible, while restoring the health and function of your teeth. During your evaluation, he will talk with you about the best options for your specific needs and level of decay, and will take the time to answer your questions about your recommended treatment plan.
To schedule your appointment at our office, call (206) 208-2339 today!