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All the below content has been written by Dr. Sandip Sachar.
Cosmetic Dentist NYC - Tooth Colored Fillings
Picture description: In the above picture you can see old metal fillings that have been replaced with tooth colored fillings.
Tooth-colored fillings are simply fillings that match the same color as your teeth. No matter what materials they are made out of, they are used to fill cavities and repair teeth in order to seal the tooth from further decay, and restore the size, shape and function of the tooth. Tooth-colored fillings result in a much more aesthetic appearance the non-tooth-colored fillings. There are two types of tooth-colored fillings, composite tooth colored fillings and porcelain tooth-colored fillings. Composites tooth colored fillings are made out of a resin that is applied to the teeth and hardens. There are also tooth-colored fillings are made out of porcelain in our dental laboratory. These porcelain tooth-colored fillings are called inlays and onlays. The difference uses of inlay porcelain fillings and onlays porcelain fillings depend on what part of the tooth needs to be filled. An inlay is used when the filling lies within a tooth, and is surrounded by healthy tooth structures on all sides. An onlay is used when one or more of the outer parts of the tooth are affected by decay or trauma, and needs to be filled as well.
At Sachar Dental NYC, we only use the least toxic materials in our dentistry including our fillings. We use tooth-colored filling materials to achieve the best cosmetic result while also ensuring that our fillings are long lasting, strong and durable. Using tooth-colored composite material or porcelain allows us to achieve a long-lasting and virtually undetectable filling, while restoring the strength and proper function of the teeth.
What are the different types of tooth-colored fillings?
- Composite fillings
- Inlay porcelain fillings
- Onlay porcelain fillings
Composite tooth colored fillings are fillings that are created using a moldable putty-like resin material. This resin material is able to fill the cavity and be sculpted to match the exact shape and appearance of the natural tooth. These composite materials, come in many different colors and can be blended together to make even more colors. At Sachar Dental NYC, we also have special composite materials that are translucent, meaning that they let light partially pass through them. This translucency mimics the natural appearance of your tooth enamel. While these translucent composite materials cost us more, we do not pass these costs on to our patients.
A porcelain inlay tooth-colored filling is a type of tooth-colored filling that is used to repair damaged teeth from trauma or decay that is too large for a regular composite tooth colored filling. The difference between a porcelain filling and a composite filling is that porcelain fillings are made out of porcelain rather than resin, and are made in our dental laboratory. We take a mold of the teeth and send it to our dental laboratory in order to have them fabricate a porcelain inlay tooth-colored filling. This porcelain filling is then permanently bonded to the tooth to restore its natural appearance, strength, shape and function.
The porcelain onlay tooth-colored filling is a type of tooth-colored filling that is used to repair a decayed or damaged tooth that is too large for a regular composite tooth colored filling, and involves one or more outer sides of the tooth. Onlay fillings are utilized when the deficit is too large such that a regular composite filling is unable to provide enough strength or support for the tooth. The onlay porcelain filling is utilized when one or more of the outer parts of the tooth are affected by decay or trauma and need to be filled. Like an inlay porcelain filling, an onlay porcelain filling his fabricated in our dental laboratory. We take a mold of your teeth and send it to the laboratory with instructions to match the color, and translucency. The porcelain onlay filling is then permanently bonded onto the tooth to restore its natural appearance, shape and function.
Why do we use each type of tooth-colored filling?
The goal of tooth-colored fillings is to restore the original shape, strength, size and function of the original tooth that has trauma or decay. The use of fillings in cavities is called restorative dentistry because we restore the tooth. Our goal is to make our restorative dentistry also look aesthetic by matching the filling material to the color of the teeth.
Composite tooth colored filling: Composite tooth colored fillings are the most common type of filling that we use at Sachar Dental NYC. We use a resin tooth-colored composite material that is BPA-Free and results in a functional and cosmetically appealing filling. With composite tooth colored fillings, we are able to repair small to moderate-sized cavities in order to seal the tooth, restore the shape, size, and function, while making the filling virtually undetectable by matching the exact color of the surrounding tooth enamel.
Porcelain fillings are used to fill larger cavities that are too large for composite tooth colored fillings, yet do not need a crown which requires removing most of the tooth.
Inlay porcelain tooth-colored filling: An inlay porcelain filling his used when the cavity only lies within the tooth and is surrounded by healthy tooth on all sides.
Onlay porcelain tooth-colored filling: An onlay porcelain filling is used when a cavity extends onto the outer parts of the tooth on one or more sides. An onlay porcelain filling repairs and replaces the outside part of the tooth that is affected.
When do we use each type of tooth-colored filling?
Composite tooth colored fillings are used on patients that present with small to medium sized cavities. The composite tooth colored filling is able to seal the tooth to prevent future decay and restores the shape and appearance as well as the function of the tooth. We are able to match the color of our patient’s teeth using different shades of composite material and sometimes a blend different composite material together to match the shade exactly. This is particular important when filling cavities of the front teeth that are visible when you smile. Our cosmetic dentists are excellent at matching the color and shade of the teeth. In addition, at Sachar Dental NYC, we also take into consideration the translucency of the teeth, and match that with our translucent composite materials. While these translucent composite materials cost us more, we do not pass this cost onto our patients.
When patients present with a larger cavity than a composite filling is able to fill, we then use porcelain tooth-colored fillings. An inlay porcelain filling is used when the cavity is contained within the tooth and does not include any of the outer sides of the tooth. A porcelain inlay filling is made in our dental laboratory and requires us to take a mold of you teeth.
When patients present with even larger cavities that are too large for composite fillings and also involve one or more of the outer sides of the tooth, we use porcelain onlay fillings to restore the shape, size and function of the tooth. Onlay porcelain fillings also require us to take a mold of your tooth and send it to our dental laboratory to fabricate a porcelain filling.
How are tooth-colored filling procedures performed?
The first step in performing tooth-colored fillings is to remove any decayed or damaged part of the tooth. We also clean all the surface of the tooth to remove any bacteria, plaque or tartar. Our cosmetic dentists will discuss with you which option for tooth-colored fillings is best for you, and choose between composite fillings and porcelain fillings.
For composite tooth colored fillings, we first match the composite material to the color and translucency of your teeth. After the tooth is cleaned, we apply this putty-like composite material to the tooth in question. We then sculpt the composite material to fill the cavity and also restore the original size and shape of the tooth. The tooth-colored composite filling is then hardened with a special light and permanently bonded to your tooth.
For porcelain fillings the process differs slightly. Porcelain inlay and onlay fillings are made from a mold of the teeth that is sent to our dental laboratory. The technique for inlay and onlay fillings are very similar. First, we remove any decayed part of the tooth. The remaining surfaces are cleansed to remove all plaque, bacteria or tartar. The cosmetic dentists at Sachar Dental NYC all have extensive “color training” that allows us to exactly match the color and translucency of your natural tooth enamel. We then will take a mold of the teeth and send it to our dental laboratory. We will send a prescription to our dental laboratory that describes exactly how we would like the porcelain filling to be made and includes the exact color match instructions. A temporary filling is placed on the tooth in order to seal it while we wait for the porcelain filling to be returned from our dental laboratory.
We have our patients return in 1-2 weeks to receive the permanent porcelain filling. We evaluate the inlay or onlay porcelain filling in order to ensure that it fits perfectly and matches the exact color of your teeth. We will then remove the temporary filling. Assuming we are satisfied with the porcelain filling, we will then permanently bond the porcelain filling to the tooth.
How is an inlay porcelain tooth-colored filling made?
The first step in using a porcelain inlay tooth colored filling is to prepare the tooth to receive it. We will use local anesthesia to ensure that this procedure is comfortable. We will remove any decayed or damaged part of the tooth and any bacteria, tartar or plaque. After the tooth is filed and cleaned, a mold is taken and sent to our dental laboratory. We will match the exact color and translucency of your tooth. We will then put in a temporary filling to seal the tooth. On the next visit the temporary filling is removed. The porcelain inlay tooth-colored filling is evaluated to make sure that it properly matches the surrounding color and shape of the tooth. It is then permanently bonded onto the tooth.
What should I expect after an inlay porcelain tooth-colored filling procedure?
After your first visit you will be instructed not to eat anything until the anesthesia wears off. We advise patients to avoid eating hard foods on the affected side with the temporary filling until the permanent filling is inserted and bonded to your teeth. On your second visit, if we use local anesthesia, you will be instructed not to eat anything until the anesthesia wears off. Depending on what materials are used to bond the inlay porcelain filling to your tooth, you may be instructed not to eat anything on the affected side for 1-24 hours. Normally, there will be no pain or discomfort after the inlay porcelain filling is bonded to your tooth. The next time we will evaluate your inlay porcelain tooth-colored filling will be on your regular checkup appointment.
How do I care for my inlay porcelain tooth-colored filling?
After receiving your porcelain inlay tooth-colored filling, your home care does not change. We still recommend that you brush and floss daily and come in twice per year for your regular dental checkups and professional dental cleanings.
How is an onlay porcelain tooth-colored filling made?
On your first visit, we will remove any decayed or damaged part of your tooth and clean any bacteria, tartar and plaque off. We will use local anesthesia to ensure that your procedure is comfortable. Once we are done filing the tooth to remove any decayed or damaged areas, a mold of your tooth is made and sent to our dental laboratory. We will instruct the dental laboratory to match the color and translucency exactly. A temporary filling is then placed to seal the tooth until you return for your porcelain onlay tooth-colored filling.
We will then have you return in 1-2 weeks. The temporary filling will be removed. The onlay porcelain tooth-colored filling will be evaluated to make sure that it fits perfectly and matches the surrounding color and translucency. Assuming that it matches and fits, it is then permanently bonded to your tooth.
What to expect after an onlay porcelain tooth-colored filling procedure?
After your first visit, you will be instructed to not eat anything until the anesthesia wears off. You will be instructed to avoid eating hard foods on the affected side that has the temporary filling. On your second visit, if we use local anesthesia, you will be instructed not to eat anything until the anesthesia wears off. Depending on what materials are used to bond the onlay porcelain tooth-colored filling to your tooth, you may be instructed not to eat anything on the affected side for 1-24 hours. Normally, there will be no pain or discomfort after an onlay porcelain filling is bonded to your tooth. The next time we will evaluate your onlay porcelain tooth-colored filling will be on your regular checkup appointment.
How do I care for my onlay porcelain tooth-colored filling?
After receiving your porcelain onlay tooth-colored filling, your home care does not change. We still recommend that you brush and floss daily and come in twice per year for your regular dental checkups and professional dental cleanings.
Replacement of old fillings, removal of silver and mercury fillings
In the past, nontoxic composite filling materials were not always available. Fillings were often made out of silver amalgam. That type of filling contained mercury which can be toxic to the nervous system. Additionally, mercury has also been linked to many disease processes.
When patients come in for their regular professional dental cleanings and checkups, we observe their old fillings. If they appear intact than they are not at risk for toxicity. If we notice in old silver amalgam filling is worn, chipped or fractured we may recommend replacing them with a composite tooth colored filling. When these old amalgam fillings become worn, chipped or fractured, patients are at risk for systemic exposure by ingesting fragments of mercury.
When we remove old amalgam fillings, we are very careful and cautious in order to prevent our patients from inhaling any vapor that is formed during the removal process, as well as preventing any particles from being and ingested after drilling. Our highly skilled and trained dental assistants use high-speed suction that is held firmly in place during the entire process. We are meticulous that no particles of the amalgam filling are left in the mouth. When needed, we use a rubber dam that prevents exposure to mercury. The rubber dam only exposes the tooth being worked on and protects the rest of the mouth.
Once an old filling is removed, we are able to fill the cavity with tooth-colored composite material in order to restore the shape, size and function of the tooth, while matching the color exactly. If the cavities are larger, we will use a porcelain inlay or onlay filling to restore the tooth.
What are the costs to have tooth-colored fillings performed in New York City?
At Sachar Dental NYC the following are the costs associated with the different types of tooth-colored fillings that we perform:
- Composite filling: $200 - $400
- Porcelain inlay filling: $1,200
- Porcelain onlay filling: $1,500
At Sachar Dental NYC, we have a one-time charge for inlay and onlay porcelain tooth-colored fillings. This one-time cost includes the porcelain material to make the inlay or onlay filling, and all the work done to fabricate and insert it. This one-time cost also includes all visits related to your porcelain tooth-colored filling. There is a minimum of two visits for porcelain tooth-colored filling to take a mold of your teeth and insert them after receiving them back from our dental laboratory. If any further follow-up visits are necessary, they will also be included in this one-time cost.
Does insurance cover the cost of tooth-colored fillings?
Most PPO dental insurances usually cover the cost of tooth-colored fillings. Composites tooth-colored fillings are covered at 80% and porcelain tooth-colored fillings are covered at 50-80%. Prior to your visit, at Sachar Dental NYC, we always call your dental insurance to check your benefits. This way, we will be able to tell you exactly what your out-of-pocket costs will be prior to performing any procedure. We will submit a claim to your dental insurance and collect the insurance portion directly from them.
Can I use flexible spending dollars or a medical savings account for these charges?
Yes, you may be able to use your medical savings accounts or flexible spending dollars to cover charges related to your tooth-colored fillings. At the time of your service, we will provide you with all the necessary documentation and receipts.
Do you offer payment plans for tooth-colored fillings?
At Sachar Dental NYC, we offer interest free financing through Lending Club and Care Credit. In 15 minutes, we will let you know if you are approved for interest-free financing. These options will enable you to make payments over the next 12-18 months without any interest charged.
Why are we the best cosmetic dentists in New York City for tooth-colored fillings?
As always at Sachar Dental NYC, our philosophy is always to perform the least invasive procedures whenever possible. We always try to maintain as much of your natural tooth as possible and perform the least amount of filing or drilling. This applies when we fill cavities with tooth-colored fillings made of composite or porcelain. As always, we use the least toxic materials including BPA-free composite materials as well as BPA-free cements to bond our porcelain tooth-colored fillings. Although these materials cost us more, we do not pass this cost onto our patients.
All of our cosmetic dentists at Sachar Dental NYC have undergone extensive cosmetic dental training at Spear Education for Advanced Dentistry in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition to this extensive training, we also have over two decades of experience of performing cosmetic dentistry in New York City. While any dentist can have extensive training and experience, we take great pride and our artistic ability and the manual dexterity to excel. Our cosmetic dentists our truly artists and possess amazing manual dexterity that allows them to turn their artistic visions into reality.
When it comes to porcelain inlay and onlay tooth-colored fillings, we also use the most conservative and least invasive approach available. If we can avoid the need to remove more tooth for a porcelain filling, we will use a composite tooth colored filling whenever possible. At Sachar Dental NYC, we always use the most premium laboratory to make our porcelain tooth-colored fillings. Our dental technician is also truly an artist when it comes to fabricating porcelain inlay and onlay tooth-colored fillings.
When we have more complicated and complex cases, we have a prosthodontist specialist in our office and on our team with over 20 years of cosmetic dentistry experience to handle these more complex cases. And finally, as always, all of our dentists, specialists and dental assistants at Sachar Dental NYC exhibited true empathy, compassion and an excellent bedside manner.
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