Inlays and Onlays
When a tooth is decayed or otherwise damaged, inlays and onlays can be used to restore it and can actually make it stronger. When you get a dental crown, some of the tooth’s healthy structure has to be removed to make room for it. That isn’t the case with inlays and onlays. This makes them conservative ways to restore a tooth. They are minimally invasive, and they are a good choice for many patients. An inlay and an onlay are each made in a dental lab. Then, they are fitted to the tooth and bonded there.
These are generally used when there is a lot of tooth decay. They can also be used for teeth that are cracked or where there is too much damage for a filling but not enough to get a dental crown placed over it. These are effective restorative treatments that are easy to get, and you will be kept comfortable throughout the process.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Also called an indirect filling, they are not molded into their place like a dental filling would be during a dental appointment. Instead, they are made in a lab and then bonded to the tooth during your visit. When you get an inlay, it fits into the grooves that are located in the cusps of the teeth. With an onlay, it will fit in these grooves, but it also wraps over the tooth’s cusps and covers more of the surface of the tooth. This type of treatment is needed when there is more damage to the tooth and the restoration is needed over the full chewing surface of the tooth.
They are made from composite resin and porcelain for good looks and high durability. They are strong treatments that will last a long time, especially if you take good care of them. Make sure that you keep brushing and flossing and going for your semi-annual dental exams and cleanings.
Getting Inlays and Onlays
When you get either an inlay or an onlay, there are two visits to North Florida Dentistry required. On the first office visit, there is the removal of the damaged area or the decayed area. In some cases, the old filling is removed. The tooth is then prepared to be able to hold the inlay or onlay. Then, an impression is taken of the affected tooth, and that is sent to the lab so that the piece can be made. At this time, you will get a temporary filling so that the tooth will stay well protected until your next visit.
During the second visit, the temporary filling will be taken out by the dentist. Dr. Harrington will take the newly made inlay or onlay and make sue that it fits the tooth well. Once it is fitted, a resin material can be used to bond the inlay or onlay to the tooth. Once this is done, the inlay or onlay will be polished until it is highly smooth and looks just like part of your natural tooth. No one will be able to tell that this portion of your tooth is not natural.
If this treatment is recommended to you, we can do all of it at our North Florida Dentistry office. Call today to make your appointment.