Inlays & Onlays
When you visit us at Premier Dental with a premolar or molar whose damage cannot be repaired with a basic filling, we usually recommend inlays or onlays. Opting for this type of filling also implies that your tooth has not reached the level of damage that requires a crown. Unlike direct restorations where the filling is done right on the tooth, inlays and onlays are indirect restorations where the filling is made outside the mouth and then cemented to the tooth.
Differences and Similarity Between Inlays and Onlays
While both inlays and onlays use pre-molded dental fittings, the core difference is in the location where the filling is placed. In the case of inlays, we place the filling inside the groove of the decayed tooth to cover the cavity. With an onlay, the filling is fit inside the groove and wraps over the tips or cusps of the chewing surface. This makes onlays the most appropriate option when the damage is extensive.
Inlays and onlays are also similar in the fitting process. When we decide that the damage on your tooth requires an inlay or onlay, we perform the fitting in two visits. On the first visit, we prepare the tooth for the restoration procedure. We use local anesthesia to numb the nerves of your tooth and gum and then drill the tooth to get rid of the decay. An air-abrasion device or a dental laser may be used in place of a drill. We then take an impression of the area to be filled and send it to the laboratory so that your pre-molded filling can be prepared. In consultation with you, we may opt to fit a temporary filling while you wait for the permanent one.
On your second visit, we remove the temporary filling and clean the teeth in preparation for the permanent inlay or onlay. We place the pre-molded filling to ensure a perfect fit before cementing it permanently on the tooth. We check it again to ensure that the filling is comfortable and does not interfere with your bite, then give it a final polish.
Benefits Of Inlays And Onlays
Because they are made out of the mouth, we can follow every detail with precision, ensuring quality and durability. This is also guaranteed by the quality of porcelain, gold, or resin used to make the fillings. For the patient, this means that they can keep the restorations for many years without needing repairs or replacements.
Inlays and onlays preserve the natural appearance of your teeth. We conserve the natural structure of your tooth and this means that the aesthetic aspects of your mouth and teeth are not altered. Compared to traditional metal fillings that can weaken your tooth, the porcelain or gold materials used for inlays and onlays improve the strength of your tooth. Porcelain also has the advantage of matching the color of your natural tooth.
We will give you a demonstrated explanation about the nature and benefits of inlays and onlays when you visit our office. You can call us at Premier Dental at one of our three convenient locations to schedule an appointment.