Modern Dental Care

Inlays And Onlays.

A Guide To Understanding Inlays And Onlays

Repairing damaged teeth covers a spectrum of options and treatments. Some of these include crowns, inlays and onlays. Crowns or ‘caps’ are used to cover a tooth entirely, which will also cover the sides. Modern Dental in East Windsor, NJ offers crowns, inlays and onlays when a tooth is meant to function naturally. They are all different ways to help deal with cavities and decay. Crowns, onlays and inlays are all a part of treatment that we call ‘indirect restorations.’ Bridges and veneers are also included in these treatments.

Types of Fillings

Both inlays and onlays are fillings. They are created from porcelain. Inlays are smaller than either onlays or crowns and are used to snugly fit on the cusps (contours) of teeth. They are used in a similar fashion to traditional fillings. These are made custom and then permanently fixed. The area is first prepared and then the inlay is cemented. Onlays don’t cover the entire tooth but do offer protection over the top surface.

They are used instead of traditional fillings because they are bonded with cement which is much stronger. Fillings from amalgam are packed in the cavity instead of cemented, making them more prone to falling out. Also, since amalgam fillings are metal they can expand or contract in reaction to what’s eaten and drank causing further disruption and weakening the tooth. Inlays and onlays actually help to strengthen the tooth by holding it together and providing better support.

Getting Your Inlays or Onlays

Because they are such a highly individualized treatment you will need to come into the office at least twice. The first visit will be to take a mold and the second will be to get it affixed. How long your inlays and onlays last depend on a few factors. First, the material that is chosen will help determine how long they will last. More importantly the health of the actual tooth is a large determining factor. It is also dependent on the patient and how they chew, what food they chew, and the type of dental care provided at home. Staying on a regular schedule with our office will also help your inlays and onlays last longer.

Many people select inlays and onlays because they are a more natural look, without the ‘silver flash.’ They also enjoy them because they don’t change shape or size, therefore falling out isn’t generally a problem. They can strengthen the tooth by close to 75% and more of the tooth can be kept when using them over conventional fillings.

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