Dental Restorations 101

December 5, 2017
Cosmetic Dentistry

When a patient has a small cavity, a dental filling is often the ideal dental treatment.  However, when a patient has a large cavity, or is missing part of a tooth, a dental filling may not be the best dental restoration treatment.  Beyond fillings, several types of dental restorations, including inlays, onlays, crowns, and implants, provide attractive, durable solutions.

A filling is used when the decayed area of the tooth is drilled out and replaced with either an amalgam or composite filling.  It generally takes only one appointment to remove the decayed area and replace it with a filling.

An inlay may be the restoration treatment of choice when the patient has a larger decayed or missing area of the tooth.  The inlay is fabricated using a single piece of porcelain, gold or composite resin that fits the size and shape of the compromised area inside the cusps of the tooth.  The compromised tooth structure is drilled out and then replaced with the inlay.

Typically, an inlay will require an initial visit in which we remove the damaged area of the tooth, prepare the inlay, and provide a temporary restoration.  In the second appointment, we remove the temporary restoration and bond the inlay, ensuring a great fit.

An onlay is used in cases with more extensive tooth damage since the onlay covers the inlay area plus one cusp of the tooth.  The onlay is also a solid fabricated piece of porcelain, gold or composite resin that is bonded to the healthy section of the tooth.  Like the process used with the inlay, the compromised tooth structure area is drilled out and then replaced.

The onlay restoration process includes an initial visit to prepare the tooth and a second appointment to bond the new dental restoration.

A crown is selected when the compromised area of the tooth is most extensive.  The crown, typically made of porcelain, covers the entire tooth and is accurately placed after the compromised tooth area is removed.

With a crown, the first visit involves preparing the tooth for the crown, taking an impression of the tooth, and fabricating and placing a temporary crown.  In the second visit, we remove the temporary crown, disinfect the tooth, and bond the crown to your tooth.

An implant is used when a tooth is not salvageable or is missing completely.  Like the root of a tooth, an implant is fused into the bone of the jaw, providing stability for the crown that will be placed over the implant.

The implantation procedure is more involved and requires the surgical insertion of an implant screw along with a period of 3-6 months to allow the implant to properly anchor to the jaw bone, also known as osseointegration.  Once osseointegration is successful, an abutment is added to hold a temporary crown.  In a follow up appointment, the temporary crown will be replaced with a permanent crown that will be bonded to the abutment.

Fillings, inlays, onlays, crowns, and implants are all excellent dental restoration options.  At Miro Dental Center, we carefully and thoroughly examine each patient’s oral history and current dental health to recommend the best treatment options.  We then discuss the treatment options with you, and together we make the optimal decision for your dental health and overall well-being.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us today at 305-442-7444 with your dental questions.


Miro Dental Center

Dr. Claudio Miro and associates have been treating patients in the greater Miami area for over 30 years. As a team, we believe that the patient is of upmost importance at every level.   We take pride in the care we provide to our patients at Miro Dental Centers. We take the time to make sure our patients are fully informed and are given all treatment options.  Our goal is to the provide our patients with optimal oral health by using state of the art technology.

With the dental field rapidly advancing, we are always looking for new and innovative treatments to serve our patients. We provide all types of services, including dental cleanings, orthodontics, endodontics, periodontics, oral surgery and cosmetic dentistry.

If you have questions about your dental health or would like to schedule an appointment at our offices in Coral Gables, Kendall, Hialeah, or Hollywood, please contact us today at 305-442-7444.