Inlays and Onlays
Cavities are a common oral health issue. They form as a result of tooth decay. Oral bacteria that reside in your mouth feed on lingering food particles. As they do, they produce acids. When your teeth are not cleaned properly, the acids are left to eat away at the enamel. Eventually, pits form on the surface of your teeth. Bacteria can hide out in these pits, causing more and more damage. Fillings are a common restorative treatment, filling the cavities to prevent serious harm. They require a quick, simple procedure that can be done in a single visit. As effective as they are, they are not always the best solution. The size of the cavity, or its location, can make a filling difficult. Crowns are another alternative, but they involve more preparation of your teeth. For more difficult cavities, National Dental Hicksville offers inlays and onlays.
What are Inlays and Onlays?
Fillings are a very common treatment for cavities. However, they are not the best solution for all situations. Cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars can present some issues. Fillings may compromise the tooth if placed there, causing the tooth to split or even shatter. Inlays are designed to treat cavities that affect a single cusp on your molar. Onlays, on the other hand, are used when the cavity affects multiple cusps. An onlay, commonly referred to as a partial crown, is designed to rebuild the structure of your tooth. Both inlays and onlays can be made from either composite resin or porcelain. These materials can be made to match the color of your natural teeth, blending in with the rest of your smile.
How Inlays and Onlays are Placed
Inlays and onlays are often called indirect fillings. This is because the fillings are fabricated outside of the tooth, rather than cured inside the tooth. The process starts similarly to placing a traditional filling. We administer a local anesthetic and clean the decay from the cavity. The tooth is then cleaned and disinfected.
After the tooth is prepared, we then take an impression of your teeth. The impression is used to design your customized inlay or onlay in our lab. Once your restoration has been designed, it is then fabricated. It can take up to two weeks for your restoration to be ready, so a temporary inlay or onlay will be provided in the meantime. Once your restoration is ready, we cement it into place in your tooth.
Inlay and Onlay Benefits
Inlays and onlays have several benefits:
- Composite resin and porcelain restorations blend perfectly into the rest of your teeth. They also contain no metals and are free of mercury.
- Unlike direct amalgam and composite resin fillings, inlays and onlays do not shrink when they are cured.
- They are not affected by temperature fluctuations like amalgam.
- Inlays and onlays provide strength for your affected teeth, rather than compromising them.
- Less of your enamel needs to be removed.
- Inlays and onlays are less expensive than dental crowns.
Treatment for cavities is necessary to prevent serious oral health issues. Contact National Dental Hicksville today at (516) 629-5086 to schedule your consultation and find out if inlays and onlays are right for you.