When a tooth is weakened by decay and a filling, the remaining tooth structure can become prone to fracturing. Older amalgam (silver) fillings have a tendency to expand and contract with hot and cold. Over time, this can weaken the tooth by causing cracks and fractures. If this happens, the best thing to do is take a preventive approach and bond porcelain inlays/onlays into the tooth in order to restore strength and function as well as avoid further damage.
When we recommend a porcelain inlay/onlay, the goal is always to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible, including any remaining walls of the tooth. Only the missing or decayed part of a tooth is restored with this procedure, which makes it less invasive than some other tooth restorations.
During the process, large, older, and/or silver fillings are replaced with natural-looking, much stronger bonded inlays/onlays to enhance the overall integrity of the tooth. These inlays/onlays are custom-made pieces created by a dental lab using a mold of the tooth—similar to how a crown is made. The perfectly fitted porcelain piece is then bonded to the tooth, strengthening the remaining structure and restoring the tooth to its original function and natural appearance.
If you have older fillings, contact us to schedule an examination. We will evaluate each tooth and check to see if fillings are still functioning as they should or whether they may need to be replaced. We may recommend porcelain inlays/onlays to restore your teeth to their original function and appearance.