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Home|Alexandria VA Cosmetic and Comprehensive General Dentistry Articles|Dental Fillings Alexandria VA | Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental Fillings Alexandria VA | Dental Inlays and Onlays

A dental filling is one of the most recommended dental treatments for treating both minor damage or imperfections and more major issues like tooth decay. Fillings used to be made from numerous materials, including tar, gold, and even beeswax. Then silver amalgam became the most common choice. Now, white resin fillings are another option. 

Alexandria dentist Dr. Mojgan Mazhari places dental fillings with a range of materials, depending on your specific oral health needs or cosmetic goals. Our procedures are more conservative as we only remove the parts of the tooth that are damaged or decayed, and we bond the filling to the healthy tooth structure.

Learn More About Dental Fillings

Amalgam, a silver-colored compound made of several metals, is usually the choice for dental fillings due to its economical cost. But this blend of metals, including mercury, can present a health concern for many patients. Although it’s considered durable, the soft material can break down over time, raising the risk of additional damage or decay. The dark gray or silver color also negatively impacts smile aesthetics.

In most cases, Dr. Mazhari recommends placing a white dental filling. This resin composite provides a durable result that can be made to blend with the color of your natural smile. When placed, composite fillings create a tight seal around the tooth, which greatly reduces the risk of future damage or decay. Composite fillings also require less removal of healthy tooth structure compared to amalgam fillings, preserving more of the natural tooth. Additional dental filling materials, such as porcelain or glass ionomer, might be options as well.

Dr. Mazhari can also replace your old, dark fillings to restore your oral health and improve the appearance of your smile. 

When Might Inlays and Onlays be Better Than Dental Fillings?

If tooth decay is affecting a significant portion of your tooth, we may recommend the use of an inlay or onlay. Also known as a partial crown, these two indirect restorations can strengthen and preserve your natural tooth with beautiful results. The inlay is placed within the grooves or pits of a tooth’s chewing surface, while the outlay is a more extensive restoration that covers a larger portion of the tooth’s chewing surface and may extend over one or more of the tooth’s cusps (the raised points on the tooth).

Inlays and onlays are typically made from high-quality ceramic material, such as porcelain, for long-lasting results. Dr. Mazhari uses CEREC technology to create quality inlays and onlays during your visit. This means no return appointment for the final placement of your restoration. You can leave our office with a healthy smile and a comfortable, natural-looking inlay or onlay that will last for many years with proper dental care.