Inlays and onlays are becoming a popular choice in the restoration of teeth that have been damaged by decay or injury. Inlays and onlays blend seamlessly with your own teeth and are just one of the many treatments offered by Livingston cosmetic dentists Gary and David Silverstrom. Read on to learn what inlays and onlays are, and schedule an appointment at the Silverstrom Group.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are a type of dental restoration that is used to treat cavities and tooth decay. Inlays and onlays are made of porcelain or composite resin material that is customized to match the color and sheen of your teeth. This customization makes inlays and onlays virtually unnoticeable. Inlays and onlays are very similar but there is a slight difference between the two. Inlays cover the biting surface of the tooth. Inlays are used to treat decay within the cusps (the bumpy structures on the top of molars). Onlays are used when the decay extends to one or more cusps. They cover more of the tooth than inlays and are sometimes called partial crowns
What Is the Process for Inlay and Onlay Treatment?
The process of inlay and onlay treatment starts out very similar to the process of traditional dental fillings treatment. First your dentist will remove all decayed portions of the tooth and clean it of any debris. Once all the decay is removed and the tooth is cleaned, an impression will be made of your tooth. The impression is sent to a lab to be used to mold your customized inlay or onlay. In the meantime, a temporary restoration will be placed on the tooth. Once the inlay or onlay is ready, the temporary restoration will be removed and the tooth will be cleaned and prepared for placement of the inlay or onlay. The inlay or onlay will be adjusted for proper fit and cemented into place.
What Are the Benefits of Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays offer many benefits. Here is an overview of the benefits of inlays and onlays:
- Aesthetics: Porcelain and composite resin inlays and onlays are custom-made to match the shade and shape of your teeth, making them virtually unnoticeable.
- Won't Expand or Contract: Silver amalgam fillings are susceptible to contracting and expanding in the presence of hot or cold liquids; this can crack or weaken the treated tooth. Porcelain and composite resin don't react to temperature changes in the mouth.
- Won't Discolor Your Teeth: Silver fillings are known to turn the surrounding tooth a grayish tint over time. Porcelain or composite resin inlays and onlays won't discolor your teeth.
- Preserve Your Teeth's Strength: More of the tooth's natural structure must be removed to place a silver filling. With tooth-colored fillings, inlays, and onlays, more of the tooth can be left intact, preserving the integrity of the tooth's structure.