Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are alternatives to fillings and are used to replace a small amount of tooth loss as a result of decay or injury. An inlay is the filling applied inside the tooth while and onlay is applied on the surface of the tooth. They both help to reduce tooth decay and damage.
The filling done in an inlay does not extend above the cusps of the tooth, and it’s used to help restore a damaged tooth. A local anesthetic is administered on the tooth to numb the area. Our specialists will then drill the tooth to flush out the decay. This is a restorative dental process that is usually done when the injury or extent of the decay does not affect the cusps. An impression of the teeth is taken, which will be used to construct the inlay.
Inlays are made from composite resin material or porcelain to match the natural color of the tooth. It also repairs the chewing surface of the teeth and performs some dental restoration. Inlays made from gold are very expensive and the most durable of all.
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An onlay extends over the cusps of the tooth. It is usually recommended when the damage is extensive and cannot be rectified with an inlay. To get accurate dimensions of the tooth, an impression is taken and sent to the lab so that the onlay can be produced. Typically, it takes a few days to a week before the permanent onlay arrives and this will require another visit to our office to remove any temporary onlay and replace it with the permanent one.
Inlays and onlay are a great option for anyone suffering from tooth decay or severe tooth damage. With good oral hygiene, they can last for many years. They are a good option to be considered in the treatment of tooth decay as well as preserving the natural structure of the tooth. However, inlays and onlays aren’t without some associated risks.
The risks are associated with the anesthetic administered on the affected area. It’s useful in alleviating pain and discomfort so you can relax as our dentist is cleaning and fixing the onlay. However, specific drug prescriptions react negatively to the anesthetic. Hence, it is advised to inform us if you are on any prescription drugs before considering an inlay or onlay procedure.
Inlay vs. Regular filling
You may be advised to consider an inlay instead of a regular filling if there is extensive damage that may weaken the remaining structure when a sizeable dental filling is performed. It may also be advised when there is a broken or decayed tooth with cusps that are not affected.
Do you want to learn more about inlays and onlays or whether they are the best option for you? Our experienced professionals can answer any question you may have about them. Contact us today at Perrinville Family Dentistry at (425) 616-0620 and our dentists will be more than happy to answer your questions.