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Colonial Dental Group Cosmetic Dentistry Blog - Dooley, Lewis, and Quezada

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Porcelain Fillings

Over the centuries, many fine things have been made out of porcelain - china dolls, plates, figurines. Dental porcelain is slightly different, but it does have that shiny, attractive look. By itself it is fragile, but when bonded to a tooth it is strong and long-lasting. It does not absorb pigment from foods or drinks, so it keeps its original shade of white, matched to your natural teeth.

We offer porcelain fillings as a superior alternative to the old metal amalgam fillings. They blend in, becoming impossible to detect as being fillings.

Inlays or onlays
These are names for two types of porcelain fillings which differ in their size. An inlay is smaller, confined within the tooth's cusps (those small projections on the chewing surface). An onlay extends over the top of one or more cusps.

Inlays can be used on the back surfaces of front teeth. But if you have decay or damage on the front surface of any front teeth, porcelain veneers might be a better solution. If you have a severely decayed or damaged back tooth, a porcelain crown would be a good answer.

Strengthening the tooth
Where a metal amalgam filling will gradually weaken the tooth, expanding and contracting in response to the hot and cold substances put into the mouth, a porcelain filling will strengthen it. That is because (a) porcelain does not respond to heat or cold, and (b) it is bonded to the tooth, rather than just being packed tightly into the cavity. This means it pulls inward on the tooth's periphery, rather than pushing outward against it.

If you are looking for an alternative to metal fillings, please feel free to call or email us. We put a high value on patient education and will be happy to answer any questions you have.

posted by Patti at 11:32 AM

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