Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays are the tooth restoration processes in which a custom filling made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. It is made in a professional dental laboratory and permanently cemented into the tooth by Dr. Maurice Vargas DDs.
Inlays is done to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Inlays are an ideal alternative to silver and composite fillings. Also it is good to say, that they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays.
Onlays is done to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma. Onlays are an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in onlays. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and needs to be included in the restoration.
In short an indirect filling is known as an “inlay” when it fits within the little points or “cusps” of a back tooth. It is said to be an “onlay” if it covers one or more of these cusps. Any way it can be said that, the procedure for placing either inlay or onlay it is same.
- Getting an inlay or onlay is much similar to that of what you would experience while having a crown placed, but having one important distinction that less of your natural tooth structure is needed to be removed by drilling when you are treated with an inlay or onlay. When you get a crown treatment, the tooth undergoes a significant reshaping so that it gets fitted inside the new covering. Since dental goal is to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as much possible, inlays and onlays treatments are more recommended instead of crowns where a tooth can be restored by using this type of more conservative treatment.
- The first steps while getting an inlay or onlay is giving anesthesia for numbing the tooth and surrounding area which needs to be treated, and then removing the decay. This is usually done in order to prevent the decay, which is actually one type of infection, from progressing deeper into the tooth.
- Once the tooth cleaning is completed and drill made is cleared, an impression of the tooth is taken and sent to the dental laboratory. In dental laboratory, the impression is used to make a model of your tooth for the creation of your inlay/onlay. The restoration can also be made out of gold or any tooth-colored ceramic or resin.
- Before leaving the office, a temporary filling will be placed on your treating tooth to protect it until the permanent restoration is ready. At your another visit, the permanent inlay/onlay will be placed to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent cement.
- Inlays and onlays are really stronger, which is long-lasting, and require no greater level of care than any other tooth. Constant daily brushing and flossing, with regular professional cleanings at the dental office is all you need to make sure your restoration lasts for years to come.