In some cases a tooth is too badly damaged to support a dental filling, but isn’t sufficiently damaged to need a dental crown. In this case Dr Akinwande may talk to you about inlays and onlays. It’s a process that involves placing a protective layer either ‘in’ or ‘on‘ the surface of the tooth. They can be made from materials such as porcelain, composite resin, and even gold, and when bonded to the tooth can restore both the look and bite function. As a result inlays and onlays can protect the tooth from further decay.
So what’s the difference between an inlay and an onlay?
Ultimately they’re exactly the same restoration except that they cover different areas of the tooth. For example an inlay forms a restoration that covers the space between the biting areas of the teeth and fits ‘in’ the space where the damage has occurred. Alternatively an onlay covers one or more areas of the external surfaces of the tooth, known as the cusp, and as you’ve guessed, it fits over or ‘on‘ a particular surface. For cosmetic purposes inlays and onlays are colored to blend in perfectly with the rest of the teeth. What’s more both inlays and onlays have a very high success rate and when properly fitted can last longer than conventional fillings. This makes them a popular and affordable dental treatment.
Am I a good candidate for inlays/onlays?
If you have moderate tooth damage or decay you could be considered for inlays/onlays. Why not schedule an appointment with Dr Akinwande and the team to see if they are the right type of restorative dentistry for you.
How does the process work?
Usually inlays and onlays are completed over two or more treatments. Normally under local anesthetic your old filling (if applicable) is removed and an impression taken of the area. This will also serve as a mold for your new restoration. Next you’ll be fitted with a temporary restoration to protect the tooth. Once your inlay/onlay has been fabricated (this takes 2-3 weeks on average) you’ll return to our office where we’ll remove the temporary restoration and replace it with the permanent one. This will be bonded to the tooth. Once set, the inlay/onlay is buffed to remove any rough edges and checked to ensure no gaps are present. Finally the restoration is polished.
What about post-treatment care?
Special care should be taken to avoid sticky chewy foods when wearing your temporary restoration, However once you’ve received your permanent inlays/onlays, you can expect to resume normal brushing, flossing, and eating habits.
If you’d like to find out more about inlay/onlay restorations then contact the team at Chesterfield Dentistry for further information. Alternatively why not schedule an appointment by calling us on (314) 469 6429