Inlays and onlays are some of the most durable and realistic-looking dental restorations available. These restorations are made of porcelain and help treat a tooth affected by moderate decay or damage. At Louie Family Dentistry, we can provide this conservative treatment if your teeth need more attention than a simple filling but are not damaged enough to necessitate a dental crown.
What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
Dental inlays are employed when the damage to a tooth is present between the cusp tips in the core of the tooth. They are fabricated from tooth-colored materials such as porcelain, ceramic, or composite to create a lifelike restoration. An inlay will be secured after the decay is removed from a tooth. It will then be carefully cleaned before an impression of the tooth is taken. A dental lab will then create the inlays using these impressions. Meanwhile, a temporary cover will be placed on the prepared tooth to protect it until the inlay is readied. Once it has been fabricated, the inlay will be cemented onto the prepared tooth.
Dental onlays are utilized if the damage on a tooth is located on the cusp of the tooth and if multiple teeth are affected. The procedure for creating and placing onlays is the same for an inlay.
What Are the Advantages of Inlays and Onlays?
There are several advantages of inlays and onlays, including:
The placement of inlays and onlays requires minimal reduction of the tooth. Only the compromised tissues are removed before placing the restorations.
Inlays and onlays are commonly fabricated from porcelain. This durable material can last a lifetime with proper care, whereas composite resin fillings usually last five years.
Inlays and onlays can replace old, worn mercury restorations. Porcelain can be color-matched to blend effortlessly with existing natural teeth and closely imitates the natural sheen of enamel. Porcelain is also stain-resistant, so you can be assured that your restoration will remain bright and vibrant over time.
Mercury fillings expand and contract with temperature fluctuations and can make the tooth weaken or break. Small cracks and breaks can breed bacteria and cause tooth decay. On the other hand, porcelain inlays and onlays do not change shape or size with varying temperatures.
Daily care for inlays and onlays is similar to that of natural teeth. You should brush and floss daily and visit the dentist for twice-yearly checkups to ensure your restoration is strong and secure.
Inlays and onlays require no additional recovery time, allowing you to leave the office with fully restored teeth.
If you are interested in learning more about dental onlays and inlays, call Louie Family Dentistry in Fremont, CA 94538 at (510) 656-7778 and schedule an appointment.
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