Inlays and Onlays – Alternate options to restoring damaged teeth
Inlays and onlays are an alternative to dental crowns, sometimes called indirect fillings. They offer a strong and long-lasting solution for fixing tooth decay or damage. They provide both aesthetic improvement and functionality. Unlike traditional fillings, which are molded in place during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are made in a lab and then fitted and affixed to damaged teeth.
Inlays are made of composite resin and fitted to the cavity before being cemented in place. Onlays are traditionally made of porcelain like a crown. Inlays are used in the center of the tooth, while onlays are used when the damage to the tooth includes one of the points of the tooth or when the biting surface needs to be covered.
The inlay/onlay process
At Wernick Family Dentistry, it usually takes two appointments for inlay and onlay procedures. The first visit is when the decayed area or the filling in the tooth is removed. Then the tooth is prepared to receive the inlay or onlay. An impression of the tooth will be made and sent to our lab. During the second appointment, we make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. Finally, the inlay or onlay is bonded to the tooth and polished to give it a smooth and shiny appearance.
Inlays are a good option if the tooth has had a lot of work done to it already, especially when the cavity or defect is large enough to be seen. We make sure the color matches the rest of the tooth and fits in well with surrounding teeth, to give the best possible appearance. An ideal candidate is someone who has too much decay for a filling but enough healthy tooth structure left for a crown. This allows the inlay or onlay to cover the original tooth’s structure.
Benefits to inlays and onlays
There are many benefits to getting inlays and onlays instead of traditional fillings. First of all, they are durable, made of tough materials that can last for many years. They strengthen the remaining tooth structure, thereby prolonging the life of the tooth and preventing the need for more dental procedures in the future.
Inlays and onlays require the same dental hygiene as natural teeth to ensure that they stay in good shape. If you think you might be a candidate for inlays or onlays, contact us and make an appointment. We can diagnose your condition and recommend the right treatment plan. If you live in the Virginia Beach area and would like to learn more about alternative dental procedures, contact Wernick Family Dentistry for more information.