It used to be that we primarily used silver amalgam to restore damaged or decayed portions of your teeth. Unfortunately, amalgam fillings can be unsightly, and in the long run, they are usually not the best, most cost-effective solution.
Amalgam fillings can expand with age or undergo metal fatigue and break down, losing their seal and allowing decay to develop on the tooth underneath. Also, amalgam fillings can fracture as they age, which breaks the protective seal and can lead to decay. They can also weaken your tooth and make it more vulnerable to breakage; a cracked or broken tooth often requires a crown. Additionally, the metal in amalgam fillings can cause unsightly dark gray stains on the teeth and gums. Fortunately, we have a more attractive, more conservative option called resin onlays.
There are many advantages to restoring teeth with resin onlays. Because they are bonded tightly to the natural tooth structure, resin onlays can restore your teeth to nearly their original strength. We can remove less of your natural tooth when we place a resin onlay, so it remains stronger and less likely to crack or break. This means it will be less likely that your tooth will require a crown in the future.
Resin onlays are healthier for your gums, since their tooth-colored margins allow us to place them above the gumline. Because they often contain fluoride, resin onlays may also prevent new decay at the edges of the fillings. And resin onlays don't just offer health benefits -- they also look great! We closely match the color of the resin to the color of your teeth, so the onlays blend in beautifully and can really brighten your smile.