Porcelain Onlays Versus Composite Fillings

When you find yourself in the dentist office with a damaged tooth, you have several different solutions. Depending on the condition of your tooth, you could do further damage to it if you don't choose the right solution. Should you restore your tooth with a large dental filling, you could run the risk of breaking the tooth and damaging it permanently. Your other option is to add a dental crown. If the tooth is only slightly damaged, you could end up removing much of the tooth's structure even though it doesn't need it in an effort to cap the tooth with the crown.

Fortunately, technology has come a long way bringing you and your dentist a third option. You can restore the tooth using a dental onlay. Years ago, dental onlays were composed of gold. Nowadays, you are more likely to see porcelain and composite onlays. Here is what you need to know to help you decide what type of onlay will work best for your needs. 

Porcelain Onlays

When it comes to keeping a tooth in proper condition that has suffered some damage, porcelain onlays provide a more natural look. Because they are created in a lab by professionals, they are made to look just like the natural tooth they are covering so no one even knows that there is a filling in the tooth. With routine cleaning and maintenance, a porcelain onlay can last up to 30 years. Another great perk of getting a porcelain onlay to help restore your tooth is that it is stain resistant. This means you can eat and drink whatever you want and never have to worry about the tooth changing colors. Other teeth may change in color depending on what you consume, so you still want to be careful and continue to keep your teeth clean. 

Composite Fillings

Composite fillings are constructed very different than porcelain onlays. These fillings are made from a putty-like resin and can be applied the same day. Since porcelain onlays are constructed in a lab, they require a little more time to be made and may require a second visit before applying it to the tooth. Being able to have the filling constructed and applied the same day is a great advantage for many people. The composite filling is similar to the porcelain onlay in that it is made to look just like your natural tooth. The filling is cemented in place and can actually make the adjacent teeth more stable. If you decided to have a crown installed, you would not have that same stability. In fact, it could end up damaging some of the adjacent teeth. 

For professional dental services, contact a dentist such as Dr David K Skeels.