Inlays & Onlays
Dental caries erode part of the teeth, which creates holes that sometimes involve one or more layers of the teeth. Restoration techniques are required to repair teeth with dental caries. Inlays and onlays are alternatives to crown restorations or fillings and are available for all age groups at Peninsula Family Dental Center. Inlays and onlays are used when the damage to the tooth is not bad enough to need a crown, but it is too bad for a basic filling. An inlay is a preformed filling that fills a cavity and part of the chewing surface but does not extend over the cusps of the teeth. It is inserted into the cavity in one whole piece. Onlays, on the other hand, incorporate one or more cusps of the implicated tooth. Onlays are mainly used for molars and premolars.
Types of Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays can be made from different materials, which all have different properties. Inlays and onlays can either be made from porcelain, composite resin, or gold. Porcelain inlays and onlays give a more natural look than the other materials. The porcelain used to make them comes in different types. The best type for you is selected by our dental professional. Zirconia inlays and onlays are stronger. In the past, composite resin inlays and onlays could be filled directly into occlusal cavities. This is known as a direct composite inlay or onlay. With a direct inlay or onlay, a lot of shrinkage and debonding occurred, which allowed for the progression of dental caries. However, now they are prepared first before being inserted into the dental cavity. As a result, shrinkage occurs extraorally. They are attached to the tooth being treated with the aid of a very strong cement. This is called an indirect composite inlay or onlay. Another option is gold inlays and onlays, which are highly durable.
What Does Placing an Inlay or an Onlay Entail?
Our dental professional places a clear shield over your eyes to protect them from dental instruments and liquids. A local anesthetic is applied to numb the damaged tooth and surrounding gums. Your tooth is filed to accommodate the inlay or onlay materials. Our dental professional takes an impression of your tooth to create a personalized inlay or onlay. The impressions will be sent to the laboratory in order to make your inlay or onlay. Our dental professional will give you a temporary inlay or onlay that you will wear while the permanent one is being created at the dental laboratory. Some dental offices, like ours, have a machine called CEREC which enables the fabrication and placement of an inlay or onlay the very same day your dental impression is taken. However, if our dental office does not make use of the CEREC machine, you will return to our dental office at a later appointment to take off your temporary inlay or onlay before the permanent one is placed. The permanent inlay or onlay is attached to your tooth with permanent cement. Then your tooth and inlay or onlay will be polished and smoothed to match the remaining natural tooth structure and to preserve your bite.
Inlays and onlays are very durable, and they help preserve the natural tooth structure. They can also help treat tooth sensitivity caused by exposed pulp.
To discuss available dental options for your damaged tooth, visit us at Peninsula Family Dental Center. You can speak with us by calling (907) 283-9125.