You have several options when it comes to dental restorations. Inlays and onlays are two options for restoring damaged or decayed teeth that are both durable and aesthetically appealing. Whether you have a cavity, a fractured tooth, or a large filling that needs to be replaced, inlays and onlays can provide an effective solution. In this article, we will discuss what dental inlays and onlays are, their advantages, the procedure, and why they may be the best option for certain dental issues.
What Are Inlays and Onlays in Dentistry?
In terms of complexity and invasiveness, dental inlays and onlays are restorative procedures that lie between dental fillings and dental crowns. They are used to restore moderately damaged or decayed teeth when a standard filling is insufficient but a complete crown is unnecessary.
Inlays are custom-made restorations that are typically fabricated from porcelain, composite resin, or gold. They are designed to precisely match the contours of a cavity or internal tooth injury.
– When a cavity or damage is too large for a filling but the tooth structure is still strong enough to support an inlay, dentists frequently use inlays.
Onlays are similar to inlays, but they extend beyond the cusps (the raised projections on the surface of the tooth) to encompass a larger portion of the tooth. They are suited for the restoration of teeth with extensive injuries to one or more cusps.
– Onlays are frequently referred to as “partial crowns” because they offer greater coverage than inlays but less than entire crowns.
Advantages of Inlays and Onlays
- Inlays and onlays are recognized for their durability. They can withstand normal gnawing and last for a number of years, frequently longer than conventional fillings.
- Aesthetics: These restorations are customized to mirror the color and shape of the patient’s natural teeth, resulting in a seamless and aesthetically appealing appearance.
- Inlays and onlays necessitate the removal of less healthy tooth structure than dental crowns, thereby preserving the tooth’s strength and integrity.
These restorations are resilient and can withstand the forces of biting and gnawing, making them a dependable option for tooth restoration.
In most cases, receiving dental inlays and onlays requires two visits to the dentist’s office:
The dentist will examine your tooth and capture X-rays to determine the severity of the injury.
They will prepare the damaged area for the inlay or onlay by removing any decay or old fillings and contouring the tooth.
– An impression of the prepared tooth is obtained and sent to a dental laboratory, where a custom restoration is fabricated.
– Until the ultimate restoration is available, a temporary filling may be used to protect the tooth.
Upon completion of the inlay or onlay, you will return to the dentist for implantation.
– The provisional restoration is removed, and the permanent restoration is affixed to the tooth.
– Final adjustments will be made by the dentist to ensure correct fit and bite alignment.
– You will exit the office with a tooth that has been completely restored and is aesthetically pleasing.
Inlays and onlays are advantageous restoration options for molars with moderate damage or erosion. They offer the optimal balance between aesthetics and durability, making them an excellent option for those seeking long-lasting results that appear natural. Consult with your dentist to determine the most appropriate treatment for your requirements if you are experiencing tooth problems and are interested in these restorative options. Your dentist can assist you in making an informed decision to attain a healthier and more attractive smile.