Do you have an unsightly silver amalgam filling? Are any of your teeth cracked, chipped, or broken? Do you think your teeth might be afflicted by a slight cavity or two? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, inlays and onlays may be just the dental treatment for your smile.
Our dentist, James M. Stein, D.M.D., routinely performs the inlays and onlays procedure on our Boston cosmetic dentistry patients. The treatments are used to restore a tooth or teeth in terms of function, health, and appearance.
What are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are used to treat a tooth that has mild to moderate decay, cracks, or fractures. They can be crafted out of tooth-colored materials, which is why they are also used to replace old silver amalgam fillings or fillings that are leaking or otherwise damaged. Essentially, inlays and onlays fill the void from decay to protect the tooth from bacteria and retain the structural integrity of the tooth. They are durable, long-lasting, and can be matched to blend in naturally with the patient’s smile.
Read on to learn the difference between inlays and onlays.
Dental inlays: Dental inlays are used to repair teeth with decay or damage within the indented top surface, between the cusps of the teeth. These are typically used to replace faulty or unsightly dental fillings.
Dental onlays: While dental inlays treat decay within the cusps on top of a tooth, onlays are necessary to treat decay that extends to one or more of the cusps. Onlays help a patient avoid the need for more extensive dental treatments, such as dental bridges, dental implants, or dental crowns.
As an alternative to the inlays and onlays treatment, patients may elect to undergo placement of a dental filling or crown.
The Inlays and Onlays Procedure
Inlays and onlays qualify as a restorative dentistry treatment, in that they are used to repair decayed teeth or damaged fillings. The procedure for both inlays and onlays is quite similar, spanning over a typical two sessions with Dr. Stein at our Boston restorative dentistry practice.
1. First, an impression of the decayed tooth will need to be taken. The impression will then be sent to a lab, where a customized inlay or onlay will be crafted out of either porcelain or composite resin.
2. Next, the tooth is fitted with a temporary inlay or onlay to guard the tooth between visits.
3. Finally, the patient returns to have the temporary dental restoration replaced with the permanent inlay or onlay.
4. No recovery time is needed, so the patient can proceed with their regular activities right away.
Are your teeth in need of inlays or onlays? Take action to restore your bright, healthy smile and schedule an appointment with Dr. James M. Stein at our Boston practice. Inlays, onlays, or not, our seasoned dentist will determine which treatment plan is ideal for you. Our friendly, skilled team aims to help you achieve your healthiest and brightest smile!