Tooth enamel may be the strongest substance in the entire body, but it isn’t completely resilient to tooth decay and damage. In some situations, fillings and dental crowns can help to rebuild and protect damaged teeth from additional harm. However, in other situations, an inlay or onlay may be the ideal solution to restore the structure of your smile and provide long-lasting results. To find out if this is the right option for you, give us a call to schedule your next visit!
A filling or dental crown is often an ideal choice to fill cavities and protect compromised teeth. However, these aren’t your only options. You may be a candidate for one of the following instead:
An inlay is a customized restoration that is molded and fitted onto the chewing surface of a tooth that has suffered damage. By using an impression of your mouth, we can create an inlay that fits perfectly in your tooth.
While an onlay also treats decay, it restores the cusp, or raised surface, of a tooth. This procedure is a better alternative to a filling under the pressure of chewing. An onlay will strengthen the tooth overall by recreating the cusps and spaces between them.
The processes for getting an inlay and onlay are very similar. Most of the time, they are performed over two different office visits. During your first appointment, the decay and other damage are removed from the tooth in the same way that they would be for a regular filling. Next, an impression is taken of the tooth and sent to the dental lab where your custom inlay or onlay will be created. It is designed to perfectly fit your tooth and precisely match the shade to blend in with the rest of your smile. Until your restoration is ready, a temporary cover will be placed over the tooth.
During your next visit, the temporary cover will be removed and the inlay or onlay will be tested for proper fit and bite. When the perfect fit is established, the restoration will be bonded to the tooth using a strong adhesive. Lastly, the inlay or onlay is polished for optimal fit, comfort, and appearance.
There are all sorts of benefits you can expect with your new inlay or onlay. Here are just some of the most prominent: