You may have heard the term dental inlays and onlays, but what is exactly are they? Inlays and onlays are usually made of porcelain and are restorations used to repair rear teeth that have a mild to moderate amount of decay. They can also be used to restore teeth that are cracked or fractured if the damage is not severe enough to require a dental crown. Inlays and onlays are often used to replace metal dental fillings for patients who desire a more natural looking smile.
Dental inlays are used to treat teeth that have decay or damage lying within their indented top surfaces.Â Inlay placement is usually carried out over two Gentle Dental appointments. During your first visit to the dentist, an impression of your tooth will be taken, and a temporary inlay will be placed over the tooth. The dentist will then send the impression off to a dental lab, which will create the inlay to match your tooth’s specifications. When you return to the Gentle Dental office, the temporary inlay will be removed and the permanent one will be placed carefully over your tooth. There is no downtime after receiving a dental inlay, only a mild level of tenderness in the treated area.
Whereas dental inlays are designed to treat decay within the teeth cusps, onlays are used to treat decay that extends to one or more of the cusps. Onlays are placed in much the same way as inlays. First, an impression of the decayed tooth is taken, and a temporary onlay is placed over the tooth. The impression is then sent to a lab, where a dental technician creates the onlay according to the toothâ€™s dimensions. When you return to the Gentle Dental office, the temporary onlay is removed, and the permanent restoration is placed on the tooth and securely bonded.
In saving damaged teeth, inlays and onlays help patients avoid the eventual need for more extensive treatment such as dental crowns, dental bridges, or dental implants. To learn more about inlays and onlays and to see if your a candidate for this type of procedure call your local Gentle Dental dentist at 1-888-513-7436.