Dental Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are indirect fillings for large cavities that cannot be properly restored by simple conventional fillings. These restorative works are called “indirect” since they are created outside of the mouth as a single, solid piece that fits like a jigsaw puzzle in your cavity. Today, inlays and onlays are created either in a dental lab or formed in-house with the help of CEREC technology.
In contrast, direct fillings are built up in the mouth and can be made of gold, silver amalgam, porcelain and composite resin.
Dental Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays are made to restore the chewing surface of your back teeth and mend larger cavities that traditional fillings may not be strong enough to fix. The bonding process helps to strengthen and stabilize the teeth. Inlays are typically made of gold or ceramic in a dental lab, though porcelain ones can also be built with the help of CAD/CAM technology in our office.
A benefit of inlays is that they do not contract or expand due to varying temperatures as much as a filling, so there is less chance of a tooth fracture or creating gaps between the filling and neighboring tooth
Dental onlays are similar to inlays except they extend to the cusps or the pointy surfaces of your back teeth. In the past, onlays were usually only made of gold, but these days, thanks to advanced dental techniques, onlays can also be made of tooth-colored material.
At Reich Dental Center – Roswell, our doctors can determine whether you should have an inlay or an onlay instead of a filling or crown.
How Dental Inlays and Onlays Work
Getting an inlay or onlay is quite similar to what you would experience when being fitted with a crown; however, inlays and onlays have one big benefit over crowns: they require less healthy tooth structure to be filed away to accommodate the restoration.
The goal of dentistry is to preserve as much healthy tooth as possible. Unfortunately, when you get a crown, we inevitably need to cut down your tooth significantly so that the crown can fit easily on top of it. Inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach to repair a tooth. Note, however, depending on the severity of the damage, you may sometimes inevitably need a crown.
Inlays and onlays are almost as expensive as a crown and are sometimes not covered by dental insurance, which is why their procedure is not as commonly performed as fillings or crown. Onlays are also more difficult to fit correctly leading to a bigger risk of restoration failure.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are more conservative approaches to crowns and carry several benefits:
|Inlays and onlays preserve more healthy tooth structure than crowns and so are excellent options if your tooth has slight to moderate decay.
|Their tooth-colored restorations also do not discolor as quickly as fillings.
|Because they are custom-made to fit the edges and surfaces of your tooth, they offer better protection by reducing any space or leaks that allow in bacteria.
|They are very stable and strong and can last several years longer than regular fillings.
If you have a tooth cavity, don’t wait until it gets bigger and results in severe pain. Call us now at 770-992-3353 to schedule an appointment and we will determine which restorative method is right for you.
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