Inlays and Onlays
The team at Harper Dental is highly experienced in treating tooth decay and fractures using dental inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays are dental restoration procedures that we use in our offices to repair teeth with moderate or mild decay. We also use this dental procedure for patients with fractured or cracked teeth, which are not significantly damaged to warrant a dental crown.
Most patients who visit our offices for inlays or onlays generally have significant decay or damage in their tooth structure. This makes them the ideal candidates for this dental procedure. However, it is also important to understand that the patient must have enough healthy tooth for this procedure to be successful. Otherwise, they might need a dental crown instead of an inlay or onlay. With dental inlays and onlays, our dentists can preserve more of your natural tooth’s structure.
The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays When Compared to Fillings
Dental inlays and onlays are made from a tough and hard-wearing material, which makes them very durable. They can last up to over 30 years. Unlike conventional metal dental fillings, inlays and onlays can strengthen your teeth up to 75%. Metal dental fillings, on the other hand, can only achieve 50% of this. Lastly, inlays and onlays can lengthen the lifespan of your tooth and even prevent the need for having other dental treatments.
At our offices, we recommend the inlay and onlay procedure in cases where we need to replace or remove your old metal fillings. The dental inlays usually fit well on the cusp tips of your tooth or teeth. Dental onlays, on the other hand, are a bit broader, and they typically stretch over the cusps of your teeth.
During the treatment procedure, our dentists start by removing the old fillings - and this happens when the patient is under local anesthesia. Then, our dentists take an imprint of your tooth and send it to our dental laboratory, where your new inlay or onlay is made.
Composite resin - this includes acrylics and powdered material that resembles glass. Inlays and onlays made out of composite resin have a more cosmetic appearance, unlike other materials since they match the color of the patient’s teeth.
Metal - generally, we use gold to make inlays and onlays, but we can also use other materials as well. Our dentists use metal inlays and onlays on the back teeth because metal is stronger and more durable.
Porcelain - this is another common material that we use to create dental inlays and onlays. The good thing about this material is that it matches the color of the patient’s teeth.
Once your inlay or onlay is ready, our dentists will cement it into place during your next appointment. You don’t have to worry about the inlay or onlay changing the appearance of your tooth or teeth since they blend well with the affected tooth, as well as the other teeth. Therefore, you will still have a natural and uniform appearance.
If you want more information about onlays and inlays, and the procedure that’s best suitable for you, contact one of our professionals here at Harper Dental at (479) 431-0280.