In the days before modern cosmetic dentistry, people had one choice of material for fillings – metal amalgam. Our Oakton general dentistry practice does not offer metal fillings because we feel they pose too much possible risk. Metal amalgam contains about 50% mercury, which is a known poison. In many countries it has been banned.
There is ongoing controversy as to the degree of risk posed by the mercury in tooth fillings, and the jury is still out. But our general dentist prefers not to put our patients at any potential risk. Instead, Dr. Chung offers porcelain or dental bonding as the materials for filling teeth.
“Now we actually look forward to all of our dental visits and schedule routine checkups every three months instead of the standard twice a year." - David & Dalia
Inlay vs Onlay
An inlay fills a smaller cavity, contained within the tooth’s cusps. An onlay is larger, extending over the cusps to an outside surface. An onlay is somewhere between a filling and a crown.
What Is Dental Porcelain?
It’s a tooth-colored, hard, brittle substance and is partly translucent. That is, it both absorbs light and reflects it. Tooth enamel is also partly translucent, and this is what makes porcelain restorations so similar-looking to enamel. They have that same pearly-white shine.
When you have a porcelain inlay or onlay, the exact shade of porcelain is chosen to match your natural teeth. The procedure is much the same as having a traditional filling, except that it takes two visits. That’s because the filling will be custom-made in a dental lab. In the second visit, Dr. Chung will fit it in place like a perfect little puzzle piece and bond it to your tooth.
By being bonded to your tooth the inlay or onlay strengthens and prolongs its life. A metal filling is packed into the cavity and exerts outward pressure against it. This can weaken the tooth eventually and even break it.
Advantages of Dental Porcelain
- It shines white like natural teeth
- It’s stain resistant like glass
- It’s strong and durable
- Inlays and onlays strengthen the tooth by being bonded to it
- It needs only the same care you would give your teeth in any case
To learn more about porcelain inlays and onlays, please contact Softouch Dental Care by calling 703-319-6990, and we’ll arrange a personal consultation. All of us at Softouch Dental Care are dedicated to our patients’ comfort. Our general dentist sees only two or three patients each day so that he can give you his full attention.
At your initial consultation, you will meet our experienced general dentistry team and have all of your porcelain inlay and onlay questions answered, as well as any other dental questions you may have. Our office serves Northern Virginia including Oakton, Vienna, McLean, Great Falls, Tysons Corner, Reston, Arlington, Herndon, Fairfax, Falls Church, Chantilly, Centreville, and Washington D.C. areas.