Inlays and onlays can often be used in place of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. Whereas dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays are fabricated indirectly in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth by your dentist.
The restoration is dubbed an "inlay" when the material is bonded within the centre of a tooth. Conversely, the restoration is dubbed an "onlay" when the extent of the damage requires inclusion of one or more cusps (points) of the tooth or full coverage of the biting surface.
Dental inlays and onlays can potentially last for decades, however, it depends entirely on a number of factors such as material used and how strong the tooth they are applied to. Other factors include how well the patient brushes their teeth and how healthy their diet is as well as the absence of bruxism (grinding the teeth). It is also important that the dentist is visited regularly to make sure that the inlays and onlays are intact.
Inlays and Onlays: The Benefits of the Conservative Approach
Superior Fit: Inlays and onlays offer a conservative preparation that preserves as much healthy tooth as possible. They are a great choice if you have minimal to moderate tooth decay that extends into a flossing area, offering an excellent alternative to full coverage crowns.
Tooth Colour: Boasting aesthetic longevity, inlays and onlays are not likely to discolour over time as tooth-coloured resin fillings often do.
Easy Tooth Cleaning: Because the fit is tailored at all edges and the preparation minimal, your tooth can be easier to clean than it would be with full coverage restorative alternatives such as a dental crown. Composite fillings can shrink during the curing process, whereas prefabricated porcelain or gold inlays and onlays will not (ensuring a precise fit).
Tight Space Fulfillments: If you have a cavity between your teeth, consider an inlay rather than a direct composite filling. Inlays are better at sealing teeth to keep out bacteria; they are easy to clean, will not stain and offer exceptional longevity.
Strength and Stability: Inlays and onlays are extremely stable restorative solutions for the treatment of decay. The superior fit and durable material make inlays and onlays a stable choice that can actually strengthen a damaged tooth.
Weak Tooth Protector: An onlay can protect the weak areas of the tooth. The procedure does not require the complete reshaping of the tooth.
If you would like to find out more about inlays and onlays please call us on 01530 272264 to arrange an appointment.
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