Porcelain onlays are custom-made porcelain fillings. Old-fashioned metal fillings look unsightly and gradually weaken a tooth. In fact, research shows metal fillings contribute to tooth fractures. Inlays and onlays are permanently bonded to the tooth for added strength and a virtually undetectable restoration.
Porcelain onlays are created from specially formulated, highly durable dental porcelain. Dr. Patel will use a shade of porcelain to match your natural tooth color, texture, and luminescence. Dental porcelain reacts to light in the same way that tooth enamel does – partly absorbing it and partly reflecting it. This gives it the same pearly look as teeth have, making it invisible as a dental restoration.
Unlike metal fillings, which can cause further damage to the tooth’s structure over time, inlays and onlays strengthen and improve tooth structure. Being bonded to the tooth, they become a part of that tooth and provide a stable, long-lasting, attractive solution for correcting tooth decay.
Old-fashioned metal fillings are not bonded to the tooth like onlays. Metal fillings stay in the tooth only because they are tightly packed into the cavity, putting outward pressure on the tooth’s periphery. Also, when hot or cold foods are consumed, they expand and contract in response to temperature changes. This repeatedly changes the pressure on the tooth, weakening surrounding tooth structure and eventually breaking it.