Inlays and Onlays
Patients with larger dental fillings or maybe a broken cusp on a tooth can consider inlays and onlays. These dental restorations provide a simple, yet effective treatment for tooth damage. Sometimes, they are considered an excellent alternative to full porcelain crowns. Let our team at The OC Smiles Family Dental talk about what inlays and onlays are and whether you are a right fit for the restorations. We provide inlays and onlays when you have damage to a tooth or decay in the cusps of teeth. After examining your teeth, we will tell you whether you need an inlay or onlay, or maybe another treatment like a dental crown or fillings.
What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
Dental inlays and onlays come in the form of composite resin, porcelain, or gold material. They are usually placed and bonded to a damaged or cavitated tooth to repair it and provide protection. An inlay can be likened to a dental filling and is applied inside the peak areas of cusps in a tooth. On the flip side, onlays feature a more substantial reconstruction though similar to inlays. However, onlays tend to draw out over more than just one cusp surface of a tooth.
Dentists have for a long time used gold as the favorite material of choice for inlays and onlays. However, recently, we have seen an increase in the use of porcelain, a type of ceramic material. Porcelain is chosen as the preferred inlay and onlay material since it is strong and can be fabricated to match the exact color of the teeth.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
First, inlays and onlays can enhance the strength of teeth by up to 75 percent. The restorations are stain-resistant. They also resist fractures and damage compared to conventional tooth fillings. Moreover, these restorations improve the appearance of teeth and are custom-designed to fit the color, shape, and structure of your tooth. Again, inlays and onlays can survive for up to 30 years, depending on the cavity and fracture risk.
Inlay and Onlay Procedure
We start off by removing existing fillings or decayed tissue and cleansing the space to allow for the inlay and onlay placement. Our dentist, after cleaning the hollowed-out cavity left after removing the decayed or damaged tissue, reshapes the tooth to allow easier application of the inlay or onlay restoration. Secondly, we record the impression or mold of the cavitated tooth. The impression helps us decide the material we need to use. It also helps construct the inlay or onlay pieces. We will give you a temporary filling or sealant to cover the cleaned and shaped tooth. The sealant helps prevent additional decay while also providing protection to the tooth from things like thermal stimulation.
Lastly, we place the inlays or onlays, usually on your second visit. We use a local anesthetic to numb you if you prefer it. The numbing helps reduce pain and enhance comfort. After pulling out the temporary filling off the cavity, we cement the inlay or onlay using a resin material. We then give the tooth or restoration a smooth finish.
If you have any concerns or questions about inlays and onlays, feel free to visit us at The OC Smiles Family Dental. Contact us at (971) 447-0093 to schedule an appointment.
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