Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are used to restore the function and appearance of severely damaged teeth or to replace old fillings. Inlays cover the inner portion of a damaged tooth while onlays extend over the cusp of the tooth, covering a wider area of damage. The materials used for these types of dental restorations include gold, composite resin or porcelain. The type of material used depends on several factors, including cost, bite forces applied to the affected tooth, and the tooth’s visibility in the mouth.
Dental inlays and onlays are used to completely fill cracks and crevices in damaged teeth. They are effective at prolonging the life of a natural tooth by sealing out infection-causing bacteria and holding the broken or cracked tooth intact. The materials used in these procedures are also stain resistant, durable, and can be cared for much like natural teeth.
There are two different types of procedures that are commonly practiced:
Direct placement requires just one visit to be made and placed. Decay is removed from the tooth, then the tooth is shaped in preparation for placement of the composite resin, porcelain or metal material. Then, your dentist will mold the material to fit the tooth. An industry-grade oven hardens the material, which is then cemented on to the tooth or teeth. Finally, any necessary adjustments are made, and the tooth is polished to a brilliant shine.
Indirect placement may require two different visits. During your first appointment, an impression of your damaged tooth is made and studied. Then, a custom mold is designed in a lab to ensure optimal comfort and appearance. While your custom restoration is being made, a temporary filling protects the tooth until the following visit.
On the second appointment, the temporary filling is removed and replaced with a permanent restoration. After cleaning and drying the tooth, the dentist will cement the inlay or onlay onto the natural tooth. Any final adjustments needed will be made in the office, then the tooth is polished.
The length your treatment will last depends on the materials used. If they are well cared for, some inlays and onlays can last 10 years or longer without being replaced.
If you have a damaged, chipped or cracked tooth in need of repair, contact Advanced Dentistry at 214-237-3257 to schedule your next visit with us.