With the knowledgeable and caring staff of Family Dentistry, you couldn't be in better hands. We've been treating patients in Sarasota for more than 20 years. Whether you just need a regular cleaning and exam, or you're looking for that "extreme make over", you'll find just what you need right here. At Family Dentistry, we?re creating healthy, beautiful smiles for a lifetime! Composite Fillings The clear alternative to traditional mercury fillings. The Problem: Decay on a portion of any tooth Desire to replace old-fashioned mercury (silver) fillings Desire to maintain a white, beautiful smile The Solution: A composite filling is a tooth colored restorative material. After tooth decay is removed and the tooth is cleaned, this tooth colored material is layered into the tooth. Each layer is hardened or cured with highly intense visible light, and the final surface is shaped and polished to match the tooth. The final restoration is natural in appearance. Advantages: Composite fillings are more than just attractive. They are environmentally non-toxic because they use no mercury. They are stronger because they bond directly to the surface of the tooth. They protect the tooth from fracturing because they don't require the severe "undercut" (removal of healthy supportive underlying tooth structure) that a traditional mercury filling requires. The composite material bonds to the dentin and reinforces the tooth structure. Composite materials do not expand and contract as much as metal alloy (silver fillings). This expansion and contraction can further weaken teeth and contribute to cracks in teeth. These cracks often lead to cusp fractures/broken teeth. Composite bonded fillings bond to and reinforce the tooth. They create a very strong seal that helps lock out bacteria and protect your teeth. The color of the composite filling is chosen to match or enhance your teeth for a beautiful and natural looking smile. Inlays and Onlays Inlays & onlays are sometimes good alternatives to composite fillings, offering excellent long term durability. In cases of extensive decay, inlays/onlays or crowns are the best alternatives. Inlays and onlays are used to replace tooth structure lost to decay, to previous silver fillings, or cracked broken tooth structure. These restorations are usually made from composite resin, porcelain, or gold materials that are custom fabricated to eliminate that patients particular problem. Once placed, they are virtually undetectable in the mouth. A huge benefit to the patient is that it is much more conservative and more of the natural tooth structure remains. Inlays are typically narrower than onlays and can be used when the damage to the tooth does not extend onto the cusps. An onlay, on the other hand, extends over and covers one or more cusp to protect the cusps from fracture. On the first visit, the dentist will numb the area to make you comfortable. The dentist will use a handpiece to remove any old fillings, decay and shape the tooth so it will securely hold the restoration. Next an impression is taken of the prepared teeth. This is sent to the dental lab to make the restoration. A temporary restoration is placed over the prepared tooth to protect the tooth until the next visit. On your second visit, we remove the temporary restoration and try in the new restoration. The dentist will check the fit and the patient?s bite, and when everything is right, the restoration is cemented in place. Inlays and onlays can be made of composite resin, porcelain or gold. Inlays and onlays usually take 2 to 3 appointments to complete. The onlay is the best alternative for covering larger surface restorations. An inlay/onlay looks exactly like the rest of the tooth, restoring form and function and is so durable that it typically doesn't need to be replaced for years.