If the cavity left by the decay or filling isn't too large, composite resin can provide a cosmetically appealing filling alternative, particularly in lower back teeth that show when you smile or laugh.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are particular types of fillings made of composite resin, porcelain,or gold. An inlay is custom-made to fit the prepared cavity,while an onlay covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth. The disadvantage of inlays and onlays is their high cost relative to traditional composite and amalgam fillings.
Type of material to choose:
- Gold-Gold doesn't discolor or stain the teeth and has a longer life expectancy than silver. It can be placed esthetically into upper back teeth where it doesn't show; however, it shouldn't be placed opposite porcelain, because porcelain tends to wear gold rapidly during chewing.
- Porcelain-Bonded porcelain inlays and onlays can equal the strength of natural teeth, making them particularly attractive choices when both esthetics and strength are required. However, extra stress can fracture porcelain just as it can natural teeth.
- Composite Resin-Although not as long lasting as gold or porcelain,composite resin inlays and onlays are an esthetic and less expensive.
Porcelain veneers are an excellent option for front teeth with stained or defective fillings. Porcelain does not stain and is a more long-lasting solution, making it a choice, especially if you want to improve the shape of your teeth or make changes to your smile.
Crowns represent a long-lasting treatment alternative involving reducing the tooth and covering the remainder with a custom-made restoration. Although it's preferable to preserve the structure of the natural tooth, if a tooth is severely decayed or stained following the removal of a large filling, placing a crown may be the best option.
Making the restorations last:
Avoid foods such as mint,chewing gums,candies that may damage the bond of restoration to the tooth. Do not clench or grind your teeth.