Cosmetic dentistry can fully restore a tired-looking smile. Dr. Nicole Mermet is a Midtown, New York, NY area dentist, serving Bryant Park and Grand Central Station, who has extensive experience in cosmetic dentistry, and she is ready to help patients achieve the smile of their dreams. Metropolitan Dental Care is conveniently located at the border of zip codes 10017 and 10016.
When bacteria has compromised the enamel and dentin of a tooth, decay is the result and it must be removed to prevent further harm to the health of the tooth. For many years, this decay was drilled out and a large amalgam filling containing mercury was used to fill the void left by the decay. However, as that material hardened some shrinkage occurred and a microscopic gap was left in which bacteria could further infiltrate and harm the tooth. Porcelain onlays and inlays are a wonderful, conservative alternative to large fillings. They are custom tailored restorations made in a lab that are stronger than fillings done in the office. They fit into the tooth like a puzzle piece, but in the case of onlays also extend onto the chewing surface of back teeth to replace one or more cusps.
Traditionally these were made out of cast gold, but increasingly patients prefer a ceramic/porcelain material, which is a more cosmetic alternative. Functionally, the ceramic/porcelain aesthetic onlay or inlay is also stronger because it is actually bonded to the tooth. This bonding method actually increases the strength of the tooth and helps to seal out future decay.
This is a fantastic alternative to full-coverage crowns when possible because onlays and inlays can conserve vastly more tooth structure than a traditional crown. There is almost nothing more satisfying to us at Metropolitan Dental Care than to conserve as much of the patient's tooth structure as possible by creating a beautiful, aesthetic inlay or onlay that fits right into the tooth like the most perfect puzzle piece. Once it is bonded into place, it strengthens the tooth and give patients back all of their function while at the same time being a beautiful and natural restoration.