Inlays And Onlays
If you are struggling with teeth that have been damaged beyond the help of fillings but do not require full crowns, the best way to repair these problems is with inlays or onlays. An inlay is used to cover the cusp of one tooth. An onlay is used to repair multiple cusps.
What is Involved with an Inlay or Onlay Procedure?
Receiving an inlay or onlay is similar to getting a crown. However, less tooth structure is removed. Most people like the idea of being able to conserve as much of their natural mouth structure as possible, so this may be a smart alternative to crown placement.
The first part of the process involves numbing the tooth and the surrounding area. The decay or the damaged part of your tooth is removed. Then, an impression is made for the inlay or onlay. A temporary filling will be used until the permanent restoration is prepared. During your next office visit, the inlay or onlay will be attached with a cement that is hardened with a special light.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
- Strength and Structure. As mentioned, less tooth structure needs to be removed during this type of treatment. Also, an inlay or onlay is crafted from a durable material that will last longer than most crowns and normal fillings.
- Fit. Traditional fillings expand and contract with temperature changes. An inlay or onlay provides a better fit. Either is ideal to use in a tight space, especially between teeth where cavities often strike.
- Hygiene. Thanks to the fit of inlays or onlays, they are simple to clean and allow much less bacteria to enter a tooth following treatment.