Whether your teeth are chipped, cracked, discolored, or decayed, your dentist can provide the necessary treatment needed to repair the damage, restore your oral function, and enhance your smile. For mild to average tooth damage such as teeth cracks, chips, and decay, your dentist might suggest dental inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays are ideal when the tooth damage is too extensive to repair with a dental filling but not significant enough for a dental crown.
Usually, an inlay repairs damages or cavities found in the grooves or center of the teeth. Inlays prevent the likelihood of these cavities from progressing to tooth decay. Onlays repair the tooth’s biting surface. Onlays work like dental crowns, only that they replace less of the natural tooth.
Getting a dental inlay or onlay is straightforward and takes about three appointments. The procedure involves:
The first step is to visit a dentist for an exam. The dentist will examine your tooth damage and determine whether you could benefit from an inlay or onlay. If necessary, they may need to take x-rays. The dentist will get all the essential information and schedule you for the procedure if you’re an ideal candidate. If you are not a good candidate for inlays or onlays, your dentist will recommend another treatment that best suits your needs.
On your next appointment, the dentist will prepare the damaged tooth for the inlay or onlay procedure. They will begin by administering anesthesia to keep you relaxed and pain-free throughout the process. Next, the dentist will drill through the teeth to remove the damaged part of the tooth. If necessary, they will trim certain parts of the tooth.
Your tooth’s images and molds are taken and sent to a professional dental lab to make the customized inlay or onlay. To protect the tooth as you wait for your customized inlay or onlay, the dentist cements a temporary inlay or onlay. If the dentist has the technology or equipment to make the inlay or onlay in their office, they will make it and place it in the same appointment.
You’ll return to the dental office for the main procedure. The dentist will remove the temporary inlay or onlay and use a stronger cement to place the customized inlay or onlay. The dentist will polish and smoothen the inlay or onlay to ensure a perfect and comfortable fit.
Unlike alternative procedures such as crowns, getting an inlay or onlay requires minimal tooth shaving. Removing a significant amount of the tooth’s enamel can compromise the tooth’s natural structure and strength. Dental inlays and onlays offer a more conservative treatment, maintaining the integrity of your tooth. The damage doesn’t worsen by repairing it, thereby saving your tooth in the long run.
You can use tooth-colored inlays or onlays to ensure natural and appealing results. Composite resin, porcelain, gold, zirconia, and metal are common materials for making inlays and onlays.
Oral functions such as chewing can be significantly affected when a tooth is damaged. An inlay or onlay repairs the tooth and restores its strength by up to 75%. You can then enjoy your favorite foods without difficulties or limitations.
Dental inlays or onlays can last for many years with proper care. The durability of the inlay or onlay depends on the location of the treated tooth and the material used.
Compared to alternative restorative treatments such as dental crowns, inlays and onlays are the most affordable option. Even better, they are typically covered by your dental insurance. Also, keep in mind that inlays and onlays prevent further damage to the tooth, protecting your future oral problems that can be severe and costly.
After an inlay or onlay dental treatment, caring for a tooth is much easier. Going forward, you’ll only need to maintain excellent dental hygiene and habits. Brush twice a day, floss daily, use the right dental products, and avoid damaging habits such as chewing hard things and smoking.
For more information about inlay and onlay services, contact Concord Dental Associates.
Our dental office in Concord, NH also welcome patients from the below given nearby areas