Everything You Need to Know About Dental Inlays and Onlays

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Inlays and Onlays

June 4, 2021

When a tooth suffers damage, one must move with swiftness to restore the affected tooth. Failure to seek dental treatment from a reputable dental office in a timely fashion can escalate the damage and leave you prone to long-term complications, including tooth loss. There are different means of repairing a damaged tooth. Your dentist makes treatment recommendations based on the type and severity of the dental problem at hand.

If your decayed tooth cannot be repaired via simple dental fillings but isn’t damaged enough to necessitate dental crowns, your dentist may recommend inlays and onlays.

Inlays and onlays are indirect fillings—this means they are fabricated in a lab and then bonded to a damaged tooth. Inlays and onlays are similar in their structure and function. However, onlays cover a larger surface area. While inlays fit neatly within the cusps of a tooth, onlays extend beyond the cusps. The dentist determines whether inlays or onlays are required depending on the severity of dental damage.

If you’ve recently detected a cavity or are experiencing toothaches, you may be a candidate for inlays and onlays in Westport, CT. Reach out to Advanced Dental of Westport, CT, to schedule a consultation with our dentist.

Inlays, Onlays, Fillings, and Crowns: What’s The Difference?

Simple dental fillings are direct restorations, which means they’re applied directly to an affected tooth. Tooth fillings are made from different materials, including gold alloy, porcelain, silver amalgam, composite resin, and glass ionomer. Dental fillings are ideal for small cavities, chips, and cracks.

To restore a tooth using tooth fillings, the dentist removes all decayed parts of the tooth and then rebuilds the tooth structure using the preferred material.

In cases of severe damage, where a tooth’s structure is extensively damaged, the dentist may prefer to use dental crowns for the restoration process. A dental crown is a custom cap or cover that fits over a damaged tooth. Crowns are used to fix decayed, discolored, misshapen, and worn teeth.

Where fillings are inadequate, but crowns aren’t necessary, inlays and onlays are the best bet. Inlays and onlays are custom fabricated in a lab from a patient’s dental impressions. The materials used to fabricate inlays and onlays include porcelain, gold, and composite resin.

Inlays, onlays, tooth fillings, and crowns all serve to restore a tooth’s appearance and function.

Inlays and Onlays Treatment Process

The following steps are involved in the inlays and onlays procedure:

  • The dentist numbs your tooth and surrounding areas and then removes the decayed portions of your tooth. The dentist takes great care to remove only the necessary portions while retaining as much tooth structure as possible.
  • After reshaping your tooth, the dentist obtains your dental impressions, either digitally or using dental putty. Then, the dental impressions are sent to the dental lab.
  • The dentist uses a temporary restoration to protect your tooth as you await the fabrication of your permanent inlay or onlay.
  • On your second or follow-up visit, the dentist removes the temporary filling, cleans your tooth, and then checks the fit of the inlay or onlay.
  • If the indirect restorations are an excellent fit, the dentist cements them in place, revealing a brand new smile.

Advantages of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are notably advantageous in numerous ways, including:

  • Inlays and onlays procedure preserves as much tooth structure as possible.
  • Inlays and onlays don’t stain.
  • Inlays and onlays, especially those made from gold, are remarkably durable and can last up to 30 years.
  • Inlays and onlays are low-maintenance.
  • Unlike metal fillings that sometimes weaken the tooth structure, inlays and onlays are chemically bonded to teeth, strengthening the tooth.

If you have a moderate cavity, you don’t have to wait until it’s large enough to require extensive treatments or dental crowns. The sooner you seek dental care from a trusted dental office, the faster you can restore your chewing ability and smile’s aesthetic appeal.

Inlays and onlays are an ideal and popular way of transforming a smile after tooth decay. To learn more about this restorative treatment, please contact Advanced Dental of Westport, CT, to schedule a consultation with the dentist.

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