Inlays & Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are used in response to cavities or other dental decay. These are used as alternatives to fillings and crowns when those options are not enough to protect your tooth. Inlays and onlays function as a nice middle ground between the two. They are better fit than fillings, but not as invasive or extensive as crowns. Inlays fill cavities in the area of the tooth between the cusps. On the other hand, onlays cover the cusp of the tooth. Unlike dental crowns, though, they do not cover the entire tooth. We provide many types of inlays and onlays at Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates.
In general, there are three different materials that can be used; gold, ceramic (porcelain), and composite resin. Gold is the strongest material of the three, though it tends to be the most expensive and does not blend with your natural tooth’s color. Ceramic is slightly weaker than gold, but it is still a strong material. It is also cheaper and matches the color of your natural tooth. Composite resin is the weakest of the three and is not stain resistant. It does match the color of natural teeth.
Inlays and onlays may be used as the initial restoration method. However, they are sometimes used in the case of damaged tooth fillings. If you do already have a filling in place, this must be removed before the inlay or onlay can be placed. Decayed tooth material is also removed at this time. Our dentist will then shape your tooth to prepare it for placement. Local anesthesia can be used for these steps if necessary.
Once the tooth is prepared, our dentist can make an impression of your tooth. Our dentist will examine this mold and consult with you to decide which material (gold, ceramic, or composite resin) is the best for your procedure. Should you decide on ceramic, you will also pick a shade during this visit as well.
To finalize your first appointment, our dentist will place a temporary filling. This protects the tooth from bacteria or damage in the meantime. It also makes you more comfortable as the tooth would be quite sensitive to hot or cold temperatures without this protection.
At your second appointment, our dentist will begin by applying a local anesthetic. Once this takes effect, our dentist will remove the temporary filling. The inlay or onlay is then placed using a dental cement to keep it sturdy. Depending on the material, your inlay or onlay should last between five and thirty years.
Recovery from the inlay or onlay procedure is relatively quick, only taking a few days. Our dentist will give you more advice on oral hygiene and diet following this procedure. For example, you would still need to brush two times a day and floss one time per day. Routine cleanings at our office are also essential and should be done every six months.
Schedule an Appointment
Our dentist generally recommends avoiding sugar and high-acid content food and drinks. For example, this would include candy, dark fruits, other processed foods, dairy, and coffee. To schedule an inlay or onlay procedure, call Joshua M. Ignatowicz DMD & Associates at 725-257-2220 now.