Kate's Fear of TMJ

Dental Overlays Cover Cosmetic Imperfections In Your Back Teeth

If you want perfect looking teeth, then you face a dilemma when you develop a cavity. Even if the filling is in a back molar, it could still be seen when you yawn, laugh, or open your mouth wide. While white resin fillings are far less noticeable than silver amalgam, resin has a flat quality that doesn't reflect light like normal enamel, so they can still be noticed. If you want a filling that is nearly invisible, you should consider getting a porcelain overlay from a cosmetic dentist. Here are a few things to know.

Similar To A Crown

An overlay is a custom piece of porcelain that's created in a dental lab to fit over the cavity in your tooth. The overlay slides in like a puzzle piece, and then it is bonded in place. Because it's made of porcelain, it reflects light and it is glossy just like regular enamel. A cosmetic dentist is able to perfectly match the shade of the overlay to the color of your tooth, so the filling is invisible when you laugh or yawn.

Two-Stage Process

Since an overlay is custom made, it requires two visits to the dentist to complete. During the first visit, the dentist creates a space for the overlay, and then sends a mold to a dental lab. You'll receive a temporary filling in the tooth, which will be removed when you return for the second visit.

When the overlay is finished by the lab, you'll go back to the dentist to have it applied. Once it's in place, you can chew on it just like you normally would. That's because porcelain is very strong, and it's an excellent material to use on molars that do a lot of chewing and grinding. It also resists staining, so it will retain its gloss and color as long as you brush your teeth daily to prevent plaque and tartar.

Paying For An Overlay

An overlay is much more expensive than an amalgam filling, but it is less expensive than getting a porcelain crown that covers your whole tooth. You can expect to pay around $900 for this dental procedure. However, the final cost is determined by the size of your cavity. If your cavity is small, you may pay less. It's possible your insurance coverage will help pay for the overlay if it is being used to fill in a cavity rather than to replace a silver filling for cosmetic purposes only.

Even if you have to pay out of pocket, the results are worth it. While many people spend a lot of time and money on maintaining perfect front teeth, the back teeth are often neglected. However, those fillings and cavities are seen too when you laugh or make certain facial expressions. If you want the appearance of perfect teeth, you want your molars to look flawless too. Contact a company like Dentistry For the Entire Family for more information.