Inlays and Onlays Can Strengthen Your Tooth and Restore Your Smile
Inlays and onlays may be used instead of a dental crown to repair less extensive decay or damage. This treatment is often recommended when a tooth is too damaged for a dental filling, but not quite severe enough to require a dental crown. When placed, this treatment can restore and strengthen the structural integrity of your tooth. Our dentists offer these restorations in both traditional amalgam as well as composite resin for patients in New Jersey.
What are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are a type of restorative treatment recommended when more than 50 percent of a tooth has mild to moderate damage within the cusps or outer edges. An inlay is recommended when damage is located between the cusps (chewing surface) of a molar. In addition, inlays provide an excellent solution to replacing old, silver amalgam fillings. If damage extends past one or more of the cusps and down the side, an onlay can be applied to cover more surface of the tooth. This treatment is typically more affordable than a full dental crown and can provide a durable, lasting solution to restoring your tooth. The type of restoration recommended will depend on the location and extent of the damage.
Type of Materials Used
Inlays and onlays can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, metal, composite resin, or porcelain. At New Jersey Dental Centers, we provide inlays and onlays made from silver amalgam (a combination of metals) or composite resin. For patients desiring a more aesthetically pleasing result, we will recommend composite resin. This mixture of ceramic and acrylic can be tinted to match the natural shade of your tooth, providing a discreet and virtually undetectable restoration.
The Treatment Process
The treatment plan for an inlay or onlay generally requires two visits to complete. During your first visit, the doctor will review a series of x-rays to determine the location and extent of damage on the surface of your tooth. This information is crucial in creating your treatment plan so your doctor can provide a customized restoration.
Inlays and onlays are a type of restorative treatment recommended when more than 50 percent of a tooth has mild to moderate damage within the cusps or outer edges.
Once your treatment plan is established, the doctor will administer a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding tissues. This will allow him or her to remove the unhealthy bacteria and adequately prepare your tooth while maintaining your optimal comfort. Impressions of your tooth will then be taken for a dental lab to use in fabricating your customized restoration. This process generally takes about one to two weeks. To help prevent sensitivity to the tooth, a temporary restoration can be placed over the tooth.
During your follow-up visit, the doctor will check the fit of your restoration, make any necessary adjustments, and then permanently attach it with a strong bonding agent. Before you leave, your doctor will polish the tooth, ensure that your bite as not been affected, that your teeth and jaw are properly aligned, and the restoration fits comfortably.
Schedule Your Consultation
If you are experiencing tooth pain or dental sensitivity, it is important to schedule an appointment with your dentist to determine if there is damage or decay. Left untreated, it could develop into more serious issues. Contact our office today online to schedule your consultation.