A dental inlay or onlay is often the choice when a tooth has too much damage to support a filling, but isn't in need of a full crown to support the tooth. That's where inlays and onlays can work beautifully to fill the need for a dental repair. Filling a tooth isn't a good idea when the filled area is large as the side structure of the tooth can become weakened and eventually lead to problems such as a crack or break in the tooth. Whether you need a dental inlay or onlay depends on the proportions of the tooth that is being repaired.
How is how Dental Inlay Done?
If you have a tooth with a large cavity, a dental inlay may be a better remedy as using a traditional cavity filling may result in more dental work, even a root canal, down the line. The dental inlay is exactly what it sounds like. Inside the tooth, the inlay fills the spaces between the rounded edges of the tooth from the center outward. These edges are also referred to as "cusps."
When Would a Dental Onlay Be Used?
A dental inlay and onlay is the same type of restorative treatment. A dental onlay is used when one or more teeth need to be restored or a biting surface is affected. "Partial crown" is another term often used to describe dental onlays.
What are the Pros of Dental Inlays and Onlays?Most patients that have opted for the inlay or onlay restoration process find that this type of treatment lasts longer than traditional fillings, reports of this type of dental restoration lasting 30 years aren't uncommon. Onlays particularly are useful for repairing large cavities in teeth without the use of a crown. There are also a variety of choices for materials to use. Dental inlays and onlays may be made of porcelain, composite resin, or gold.
How Does the Procedure Work?Your dental professional will use two terms to refer to your restorations. Direct is one method where the restoration is done completely in the dental office. Indirect refers to any procedure where the main piece of restoration is done in a dental laboratory, then usually fitted on the patient in the office.
•Indirect OnlaysThere are direct and indirect dental onlays. An indirect onlay will be done by your dentist prepping your tooth for the procedure by removing any existing decay. Then, an impression is done to show the exact structure of the tooth. Usually, the dentist will put a temporary filling in place to stop any further damage of the tooth. A dental lab will create an onlay made to exactly fit the tooth and the dentist will remove the temporary filling and put the onlay in place.
Direct Inlay/OnlayThe same preparation is used as for indirect onlays. However, the dentist will use composite resin and create the mold in-office. The fitting procedure is the same and the quality is equivalent.
Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Bigger than that, your teeth can directly affect your overall health. If you are interested in finding out more about this procedure, our doctor in Sherman Oaks, has years of experience in these procedures and is ready to make your smile healthy and beautiful.
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