Inlays and Onlays
By Steven Kail on October 06, 2012
Inlays and onlays are typically used in the treatment of rear teeth that have been damaged by tooth decay. Tooth decay is the process through which cavities form. Tooth decay occurs when acids found within the mouth eat away at the surfaces of the teeth. Over a period of time, this process results in the formation of a cavity. When rear teeth become too damaged for a traditional filling, but are not damaged enough to require a dental crown, inlays and onlays may be used. One of the greatest advantages of inlays and onlays is that they are made out of a tooth-colored material. Because of this, once they have been placed, inlays and onlays are virtually undetectable. Aesthetically pleasing, inlays and onlays can effectively restore the function and health to damaged teeth, while also seamlessly blending in with the surrounding teeth.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored dental restorations usually comprised of resin materials or porcelain, used to treat rear teeth that have mild to moderate decay. Inlays and onlays are a good choice when the remaining structure of a damaged tooth is in good condition. There are many benefits of inlays and onlays including their strength and durability. Inlays and onlays are incredibly strong and long-lasting dental restorations. If cared for properly, inlays and onlays can last for many years.
Inlays and Onlays Uses
Inlays and onlays may be used to help prevent the loss of a damaged tooth due to decay and to reduce or eliminate tooth sensitivity. Inlays and onlays may also be used to repair chipped and cracked teeth and as an aesthetically pleasing replacement for amalgam fillings.
Damage and decay that lie within the indented top surfaces of the teeth, or the cusps, are treated with inlays. Damage and decay that extends to one or more of the cusps of the teeth are treated with onlays.
Placement of Inlays and Onlays
Patients of our Bells cosmetic dentistry practice, Premier Dental Center, can expect the inlays and onlays treatment process to require two visits to the office. During the first dental visit, an impression is made of the decayed tooth. This impression is taken to a dental laboratory where a technician will make an inlay or onlay to your tooth’s unique specifications. A temporary inlay or onlay will be placed over the tooth while the inlay or onlay is being made. During the second visit, we will remove the temporary inlay or onlay and securely place the permanent inlay or onlay onto the tooth.
When Damage is Too Severe for Inlays and Onlays
For our patients in Bells, dental crowns may be used when teeth are too damaged for inlays and onlays. Dental crowns are “caps” that are placed over the visible portion of a tooth to restore its appearance, shape, size, and strength. Like inlays and onlays, dental crowns provide protection and restore strength to damaged and decayed teeth. Dental crowns are very versatile and may be used to reinforce teeth that are weakened from decay, to treat teeth that are cracked or chipped, and to preserve the otherwise healthy tooth structures within damaged or decayed teeth.
Contact Premier Dental Center Today
For our patients in Bells, inlays, onlays, and dental crowns may be used in the treatment of tooth decay. If you would like to learn more about inlays and onlays, or to schedule an examination, please contact Premier Dental Center today. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
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