Dental Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are excellent choices for restoring normal tooth structure and functionality after damage or decay, or when a filling needs replacement.
They are molded dental appliances that your dentist bonds to your teeth.
Your dentist will use inlays and onlays to repair the center portion or the chewing surface of the tooth.
- Inlays fit within the cusps (raised points) of the teeth
- Onlays fit within the cusps and also cover one or more of the cusps
Many dentists refer to these appliances as “partial crowns”; or “indirect fillings”.
They provide a more conservative approach to repairing a damaged tooth because more of the natural tooth structure is preserved than when a crown is placed.
Inlays and onlays strengthen the tooth unlike conventional fillings.
The dental laboratory makes them from composite resins, porcelain or gold.
Porcelain works well because it will closely match the natural color of the tooth.
When Inlays or Onlays Are Used
Oftentimes, inlays or onlays serve well as replacements for old fillings.
They also repair areas too large for a traditional filling.
These appliances constitute a more conservative restoration than placing a crown, because more of the natural tooth structure will remain.
They are excellent choices for:
- Replacing traditional fillings
- Repairing chipped, broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic improvements
- Repairing areas too large for conventional fillings
Generally, you will make two or more visits to complete the process.
First, the staff will make impressions (molds) of the affected teeth.
A dental laboratory will create the inlay or onlay from the molds.
Your dentist will then prepare the tooth by removing decay and any old fillings.
Then she or he will clean the tooth and shape it in preparation for the molded appliance.
A temporary filling protects the tooth while the dental laboratory makes the permanent appliances.
Once received from the lab, your dentist will inspect and then place the appliance.
Your dentist will then check the “fit” and make any minor adjustments needed to ensure a comfortable bite.
After the Procedure
It is common to experience some brief, mild discomfort as you adjust to the change and the tissues surrounding the affected teeth return to normal.
But that will quickly pass.
Inlays and onlays require no special care.
Brushing and flossing twice a day as part of your normal at-home oral hygiene routine is sufficient.
Your new inlays or onlays should provide many years of worry-free protection.
Dentist Brandon MS is your complete oral health care provider because we offer a full range of dental care services.
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