If a natural-looking smile is important to you, your dentist can now repair and restore your teeth with tooth-colored fillings, inlays, onlays, crowns and veneers, that when placed look just like your teeth. Made of a complex composite of plastic and zirconia/silica, tooth-colored restorations bond to your tooth, helping prevent any filling leaks or chances of any cracking or breaking of the tooth. They also feel, look and function like your natural teeth and are ninety to ninety-five percent as strong as a healthy tooth; whereas silver fillings are only forty to forty-five percent as strong.
Inlays and Onlays
When your decayed tooth needs more than a filling but less than a crown to repair it, your dentist will use either an inlay or an onlay to bring your tooth back to a healthy state. Inlays are used when the decay is within the indented top surface (cusp) of a tooth; and an onlay is used when the cavity involves one or more cusps.
Composite inlays and onlays are made of a combination of plastic and zirconia/silica which is bonded to the tooth. They are tooth-colored in appearance and actually strengthen the structure of the tooth by up to seventy-five percent; and because of the composite materials from which they are made, they can last up to thirty years.