Inlays And Onlays
You are likely to be familiar with crowns or fillings to cover cavities and tooth decay. Fillings are used for small cavities while crowns are used for deep decay or fracture. Inlays and onlays come into play when a filling is insufficient and a crown is too much.
What Are Inlays?
Inlays are created to fit into the chewing surface of a decayed or damaged tooth. An impression of the affected site is taken and sent to a laboratory to get the inlay manufactured.
An inlay is designed to accurately fit inside the hollow of the tooth without impacting the cusps. When the imprint is taken, your dentist also tries to match the color of the inlay to that of your natural teeth as closely as possible.
Inlays are typically made from either porcelain or composite material, which is more robust and durable as compared to fillings. Inlays are opted for when a filling would be unable to adequately strengthen the neighboring teeth and the cavity needs sturdier material.
What Are Onlays?
Onlays are chosen when there is decay or damage to both the tooth cusps and the biting surface. They are most suitable when a cavity is too large to be covered with amalgam fillings or the tooth risks cracking. An onlay strengthens the tooth and protects the decayed site. Unlike inlays, onlays affect the cusps and the spaces in between as well.
Your dentist will prepare the tooth for an onlay just like they would for a filling. A numbing anesthetic is placed inside of the mouth, after which the cavity is drilled out and the site is cleaned up.
A temporary onlay is placed in the area while the impression of your tooth is sent to create a permanent one. An onlay protects the tooth structure as opposed to a crown which requires some filing and even removal of cusps in some cases.
Why Are Inlays And Onlays Performed?
Here are the top reasons for getting an inlay or onlay:
|Cracked or chipped teeth: If you have damaged teeth that cannot be adequately repaired using fillings but do not require a complex procedure like root canal either, an inlay or onlay may be the best ways to repair them.
|Tooth decay: When plaque and tartar form over your teeth, bacteria may be born. They tend to secrete acid that destroys the teeth. While moderate decay can be taken care of by fillings, severe decay may require an inlay or onlay to save your tooth.
Benefits of Inlays And Onlays
Inlays and onlays provide more protection than dental fillings, but are conservative as compared to crowns. Here are the main advantages of inlays and onlays:
|They require less tooth reduction before restoration as compared to crowns.
|Inlays and onlays are made of porcelain and can strengthen your tooth up to 75%.
|They are easy to maintain and can be cared for just like your original teeth.
|They are shade-matched to blend in easily with the surrounding teeth.
Inlays and onlays are cost-effective options and covered by a majority of insurance plans. If you are suffering from a decayed or damaged tooth, schedule an appointment with us at Beautiful Smiles by calling us at (530) 206-9211 today.