When one of your teeth contains a large cavity or part of the tooth is decayed, you have the option of covering the affected area with a dental inlays or onlays. Some people also choose this procedure to replace old metal fillings that they find unattractive. Although the process to prepare inlays and onlays are similar to a dental crown, they are a more conservative treatment approach. After we prepare your tooth for the procedure, the next step is to cement or bond the inlay or onlay. Because they are less noticeable than crowns, you can smile confidently while preserving the health of your tooth at the same time.
How Are Inlays and Onlays Made?
Gentle Breeze Dental offers patients a variety of materials to choose from for their new dental inlay or onlay, including composite, gold, and porcelain. Most people opt for cosmetic or porcelain because they don’t stand out as much as gold does. These materials are also a good cosmetic alternative to traditional white fillings. They are even stronger and more durable than other fillings you may have.
How Are Inlays and Onlays Different?
We use both of these materials to replace large fillings or conceal decay in the back molars. They are similar in that both are more aesthetically pleasing to the wearer. The major difference between them is that we use inlay for a single tooth cusp and onlay for extensive damage or more than one tooth cusp. The cusps of your back teeth are bumpy structures along the biting surface area. We take care to match your new inlay to the color and shape of your existing teeth as closely as possible. An onlay is more similar to a dental crown than an inlay due to the amount of the tooth surface that it covers.
Placement of both inlays and onlays normally takes two visits. At your first appointment, we take an impression of your tooth and forward it to our laboratory for customization. You receive a temporary inlay or outlay in the meantime. When your new inlay or outlay is ready, we ask you to schedule a second appointment to bond it permanently to your tooth.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays Port St Lucie are an ideal choice in many situations. If you are considering getting one, you can expect to enjoy the following benefits after placement:
- Last Longer: While your inlay or onlay will likely need replacement one day, it won’t be for 20 to 30 years. Compare that to crowns that typically require replacement within 12 to 15 years.
- Improved Hygiene: Because of the custom fit of inlay and onlay, it’s unlikely for bacteria to enter the area after placement.
- Preserves Teeth: Placing an inlay or onlay helps to preserve teeth because we don’t have to remove as much of the natural structure of the tooth.
If you’re ready to experience these benefits for yourself, contact us at our Port St. Lucie office for a consultation.