Understanding inlays and onlays
Inlays and onlays are forms of tooth decay treatment that work well when a tooth has too much damage for a filling but isn’t at the point where it requires a crown. A dental lab custom makes inlays or onlays for your particular teeth. Treatment with inlay or onlays takes two visits because at the first visit the dentist removes any tooth decay and previous filling material. After the removal of decay and filling material, your dentist makes an impression of the area and places a temporary filling to protect the area between your first and second visit.
Following your first visit, the technicians at the dental lab use the impression of your teeth to create the inlay or onlay from porcelain or composite resin materials. When the inlay or onlay comes back from the lab, you go in for your second visit where the dentist removes the temporary filling and cements the custom inlay or onlay securely and seamlessly onto your tooth.
Differences between inlays and onlays
Although similar, inlays and onlays differ in what type of decay they treat. Inlays treat the biting surface of the teeth within the cusps (structures on top of back teeth) while onlays treat teeth with the damage that extends beyond the cusps. Another name for onlays is partial crowns.
Benefits of inlays and onlays
When you’re looking for a better cosmetic choice for treating cavities, inlays and onlays can be just the dental treatment you need. Made of composite resin or porcelain, inlays and onlays match the color of your natural teeth, which gives a seamless appearance. Unlike silver fillings, inlays and onlays won’t discolor the surrounding tooth, and they don’t require removal of as much of the damaged tooth. Inlays and onlays help preserve the integrity and strength of your teeth as they’re longer lasting than traditional fillings and extremely durable. Best of all, if you already have silver fillings that you don’t like, your dentist may be able to replace them with more attractive inlays and onlays.
Learn more about the benefits of inlays and onlays and how they can improve your smile by contacting Greater Baltimore Prosthodontics today.SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT