Inlays & Onlays
When restoring a tooth, sometimes fillings are not enough, but a crown is too much. Inlays and Onlays are a restorative treatment solution that are more substantive than fillings. They are partial crowns that keep as much of your natural tooth as possible while ensuring the health of your teeth and gums. Our professionals at Singing River Dentistry use both inlays and onlays to help restore your teeth and preserve your natural teeth and smile.
What is an Inlay?
Inlays are a modern alternative to metal fillings. It can fill in cavities and holes on the top of your teeth and can be molded into the correct shape to not disrupt your normal chewing and speaking. They are created from an imprint taken by our dentists which is sent to a lab to be custom made. They are made from either porcelain or resin composite. Both materials used in Inlays are strong, durable, and long-lasting.
What is an Onlay?
Onlays can treat a larger area than inlays, especially when more damage has been done to the tooth. While inlays primarily fill the cavity or hole, onlays can do all of that and also treat the cusps of the teeth, the protruding edge of some teeth, and the areas between teeth. Onlays are also made from either porcelain or a resin composite, making them a durable solution as well.
How are Inlays and Onlays Prepared?
The inlays and onlays procedures are similar to a normal filling. We look over your tooth, your gums, and your overall oral health. From there, we choose between an inlay and an onlay. We clean the area, removing any debris or decay from the tooth. You will be totally numb during this process so will not feel discomfort. Once the tooth is totally clean and prepared, we then place the inlay or the onlay on your tooth, allowing you to have a bite that looks and feels like normal. Both inlays and onlays look natural when you smile, so no one else is going to be able to tell if you have one. Only when you come in and see us will anyone be aware of the restorative measure you took to preserve your oral health.
How Long do Inlays and Onlays last?
Inlays and Onlays are both made of either porcelain or resin composite. Both of these materials are strong and durable. These partial crowns are long-lasting, and if cared for properly can last up to 30 years. However, this is never guaranteed. It largely depends on your routine dental care and lifestyle habits such as eating overly hard food or consuming staining food like red wine or coffee. Just like your natural teeth, inlays and onlays require regular and routine brushing, flossing, and rinsing.
If you are concerned about keeping your natural smile, but are suffering from discomfort caused by cavities or tooth decay, call our professionals at (256) 562-4001 to discuss all your treatment options. Our dentists at Singing River Dentistry are always ready and here to help you achieve or maintain your ideal smile.
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