Cosmetic dentistry focuses on improving the way the teeth appear and function. One of the more popular treatment options that cosmetic dentists perform is dental bonding. Patients that are looking to enhance their teeth may benefit from a dental bonding procedure. Ready to learn more?The following information outlines what dental bonding is and how it…
Difference Between a Dental Filling and a Dental Onlay
Tooth restoration can happen with a dental filling or a dental onlay. They help you get back the function and appearance of your healthy tooth after it wears out or decays. Although these treatments are common, many still tend to confuse them. To find out what distinguishes one from the other, here is some inside information.
A dental filling is a way to repair cavities and dental wear. First, the dentist will see if the patient needs dental fillings. The most common types of fillings are silver amalgam and composite resin. Silver amalgam is inexpensive, but it is noticeable. Most people prefer composite resin to have an undetectable dental filling.
Fillings have evolved through the years. Gold, glass, porcelain, and ceramic are other materials for a filling. Each has its own features and advantages. Dental fillings usually repair and protect teeth that are used for chewing. These teeth are prone to wear and tear.
For small or medium cavities, fillings are an optimal choice for restoring teeth. During this process, the dentist drills out the decayed parts of the tooth and cleans the cavity. When the cavity is clean and rid of all evidence of decay, the dentist fills it with the preferred dental filling. Then, the dentist will harden the filling and polish the tooth. The seal that the fillings create protects the tooth from further damage and bacterial infection.
Protecting the filling is also important to extend its longevity. Staying away from hard and corrosive foods helps keep the filling intact. Although fillings are durable, cracks and chipping can still happen. Acidic foods also weaken the integrity of the filling. Vinegar, wine, soda, and citric juices are notorious for deteriorating fillings.
A common result of tooth decay is tooth sensitivity and pain. A dental filling closes the cavity up and strengthens the remaining natural tooth structure. It also shields the tooth from trauma. The stability that the filling provides, prevents pain and sensitivity from recurring. Fillings allow the patient to chew without any problem at all.
If the cavity spans the majority of the tooth’s surface, dentists will not use fillings anymore. Instead, onlays will be the primary treatment. Onlays are also solutions to at least one cusp of the tooth. The patient gets an onlay as well if the tooth is cracked. Dental onlays are usually made of tooth-colored porcelain. This substance has a fine white coloration that allows it to blend with natural teeth and is also resistant to corrosions.
A gold onlay does not blend with the natural color of teeth. It is a very conspicuous material for dental onlays. Even so, it is long-lasting and durable. Many patients prefer it to repair and restore the teeth at the innermost part of the mouth. On the other hand, composite resin can blend well with the natural color of teeth. Yet, this type of onlay is not resistant to staining.
A dental filling and onlay can repair and restore tooth damage in no time
If you have small to medium cavities, dental fillings can restore and protect your teeth. For a cavity that spans almost the tooth’s entire surface, the practical way to deal with it is through dental onlays. The choices of materials for both methods are almost the same. Porcelain seems to be the optimal choice for both because it blends with natural teeth. Discussing your available options with your dentist is always rewarding to get the most out of dental fillings and onlays.
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