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In the early days of emerging science and rapid progress around the turn of the last century, general dentistry began to meet the needs of many people that were previously beyond the help of medical science. During this time, the silver amalgam filling became the primary method of restoring damaged teeth that had lost structure and mass due to injury or tooth decay.
This use of silver amalgams continued all through the 20th century, and it is quite possible that many of you reading this now have silver amalgam fillings still in your mouth. However, you do not have to keep them, and you certainly do not have to get any more than you already have.
Resin onlays are just one of many alternatives to traditional fillings that offer you greater cosmetic and medical value. There are a number of reasons for this.
To begin with, amalgam fillings are simply not all that attractive. They are too glaringly visible. They also have a tendency to expand and contract as temperature changes, which many times will cause a tooth to crack. Amalgam fillings will also themselves fracture as they age, and this will cause their protective seal to break. This, in turn, makes the tooth vulnerable to decay as a result. If decay ensues, the tooth will need to be crowned, and this will cost you more money. The metal in your amalgam fillings will often cause you to get gray stains on your teeth and gums.
You do not have to worry about any of this with resign onlays. They represent a safer and much more cost effective alternative to all of this.
Resin onlays bond directly to natural tooth structure. They restore your tooth to nearly all of their original strength. They only require a tiny fraction of your original tooth mass to be removed far less than that required to fill your tooth with silver-mercury amalgam.
By minimizing the amount of natural tooth matter that is removed, dentists can keep your teeth in much better shape. They are much stronger, and much less likely to crack or break.
Resin onlays are also much better for gums. The margins reside above the gum line and therefore do not irritate gum tissue. Resin onlays also contain fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay that can sometimes occur at the edges of traditional fillings.
Health benefits are not the only benefits you receive, however. You also receive the added attraction factor of a restoration that matches the existing color of your teeth. Onlays blend right in with the color of existing enamel and will not be noticed by the average person when you smile.
Whenever you replace any of your old dental fillings with resin onlays, you immediately are amazed at the natural, beautiful change they make in your smile.
It normally takes two dental visits to make resin onlays. During the initial visit, molded impressions are taken of the tooth and then sent to a dental laboratory. Here, the restoration is custom manufactured to match the tooth.
When you return for your second visit, the onlay is placed on your tooth and bonded in place.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont and Midland Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic dentistry services that includes: