Inlays & Onlays
Damaged teeth can put a dent in your confidence. Thankfully, there are some great cosmetic dentistry treatments available. One of the most popular solutions is the use of inlays and onlays. These have become such a popular option for restoring damaged teeth. Stop hiding your smile and contact Jason Widner DMD Family Dentistry to see if inlays and onlays are right for you.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Both inlays and onlays are used to restore teeth that are too damaged for fillings but do not need crowns. Both inlays and onlays are very similar and serve the same purpose, which is to improve the structure and stability of your teeth. Inlays and onlays are made of porcelain, gold, and composite resin, and they are both applied to a portion of the chewing surface of the tooth. The only difference between inlays and onlays are where on the chewing surface they are applied.
The chewing surface of your teeth contains bumps, called cusps. The bumpy surface of the teeth helps the teeth to hold food in place better while chewing. It is also full of crevices where germs and plaque can easily accumulate. For this reason, cavities tend to originate in this area of the teeth.
Inlays are applied to the chewing surface of the teeth, usually between the cusps. They can help restore a tooth’s strength by covering, smoothing out, or reshaping an area around a cusp. In some cases, inlays are either used in place of metal amalgam fillings or used to restore the tooth damage because of a metal filling.
Onlays, on the other hand, go over and restructure and smooth out a larger area on the chewing surface of the tooth. They usually cover the entire chewing surface. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns as they commonly cover the entire top (or chewing) surface of a tooth.
What Are the Benefits of Inlays and Onlays?
There are a few advantages of inlays and onlays compared to crowns or conventional filling materials. Inlays and onlays require less preparation than a crown, leaving more of the natural tooth structure in place. It is easier to set up an ideal occlusal (biting surface) shape to protect the remaining tooth structure further than conventional filling materials. The life expectancy of the inlay or onlay is likely to be better than for large restoration using conventional filling materials. An all-metal inlay or onlay needs less tooth reduction than a porcelain or ceramic one, as the metal can be placed in thinner layers. They are stronger than all other filling materials available.
How Long Do They Last?
There are several types of materials available for your selection. They can also be matched with your specific tooth color, permitting a restoration that blends in seamlessly. Normal dental care of brushing and flossing daily will ensure the durability of the material is maintained. Usually, inlays and onlays last for an average of 15 years.
Our professionals will be able to provide thorough information about each of these options and suggest the best course of action needed to restore and preserve your teeth as best as possible. For more information, and to find out how you can benefit from inlays and onlays, call Jason Widner DMD Family Dentistry at 425-868-0123 today.