While you undoubtedly have heard of dental fillings and crowns, you may not be as familiar with alternative options like inlays and onlays. Sometimes dubbed “indirect fillings,” inlays and onlays are an effective and usually more durable way to tackle tooth decay and weakness. If your teeth are in need of restorative care, Dr. Emmanuel Puddicombe may suggest an inlay or onlay to improve your smile.
Difference Between Inlays and Onlays
Inlays fill the hollowed-out space in your tooth created by a cavity or decay. The restorations are custom-crafted to perfectly fit empty spaces within the tooth’s cusps. Although inlays are usually pricier than a traditional filling, they also last much longer. Moreover, they may be the best method to save a decaying tooth when fillings cannot adequately do the job.
What sets onlays apart is that while they fill in unwanted holes like inlays, they can also protect the cusps of your tooth. They are most often utilized when the cavity has gotten past the point of being treatable with a filling. Onlays are particularly good at strengthening the tooth. They can serve the same function as a crown, but instead cover a portion of your tooth rather than the entire thing.
Inlay and Onlay Materials
Although inlays and onlays have traditionally been made of gold, that is no longer the standard material. Contemporary inlays and onlays are usually composed of porcelain because they are more durable and better match the natural color of your teeth. You can also choose to get composite resin inlays and onlays, which can correspond with the precise shade of your teeth, but these are not nearly as strong as porcelain.
Inlays and Onlays Procedure Details
Dr. Puddicombe typically attaches inlays and onlays over the course of two separate dental visits. On your first trip, he will remove either the decaying area of the tooth or the filling that needs replacement. He will then take a mold of your tooth, which is sent to a laboratory so that an inlay or onlay that fits just right can be custom created for you. Before you leave, Dr. Puddicombe will use a temporary restoration to protect your tooth while you wait for the laboratory to do its work.
A few weeks later, you will return to Family Dentistry of Lyons to where Dr. Puddicombe will remove the restoration. He will then fit you with your inlay or onlay, making sure it is snug and does not impair your biting motion. If the fit is correct, he will then attach it permanently with resin, before polishing it to achieve a smooth, attractive look.
Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Puddicombe
It can take a skilled restorative dentist to determine whether the issues in your mouth are best treated with a filling, a crown or an inlay or onlay. If you are in the Rochester area, Dr. Puddicombe would be happy to examine your mouth and give you top notch dental care. Please call Family Dentistry of Lyons at (315) 946-4656.