When it comes to dental restorations, we often hear about fillings and crowns, but there’s another option that provides a safer solution for our teeth – inlays and onlays. These lesser-known treatments offer an effective way to repair damaged or decayed teeth while preserving more of your natural tooth structure.
In this article, we’ll explore what inlays and onlays are, their benefits, how they’re applied, when they should be used, and the aftercare guidance you need to ensure their longevity.
As dental technology continues to advance, it’s important for us to stay informed about the options available for maintaining our oral health. Inlays and onlays provide a conservative alternative to traditional fillings and crowns, making them an ideal choice for those looking for a durable yet minimally invasive solution.
Join Above & Beyond Dental, as we delve into the world of inlays and onlays – learning about their application process, advantages over other restoration methods, and tips on how to care for them will help you make an informed decision if faced with the need for dental restoration.
What is an Inlay/Onlay?
Curious about what inlay and onlay dental treatments are all about? Let’s dive into these safer solutions that can help preserve your dental health.
Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations used to repair teeth with mild to moderate decay or damage, such as cracks or fractures that don’t require a full-coverage crown. They’re custom-made from materials like porcelain, composite resin, or gold, offering a durable and aesthetically pleasing option for restoring your oral care.
Inlays fit within the grooves of the tooth while onlays cover one or more cusps (the raised points) of the tooth. The main difference between them is how much of the tooth structure they cover.
Unlike traditional fillings, which are placed directly into the cavity during your dental appointment, inlays and onlays are fabricated outside of your mouth and then cemented into place once they’re ready. This process ensures a precise fit and provides long-lasting protection for your teeth without removing any more tooth structure than necessary – making it a safer solution for maintaining optimal dental health!
Benefits of Inlays/Onlays
You might be wondering what makes inlays and onlays a better choice for your dental needs, right? There are several benefits that make these restorative treatments a safer solution for many patients.
In fact, inlays and onlays offer some significant advantages over traditional fillings or crowns when it comes to preserving the health and integrity of your teeth. One of the main benefits of inlays and onlays is that they require less removal of healthy tooth structures compared to traditional fillings or crowns. This means that more of your natural tooth is preserved, which can help maintain its strength and stability.
Inlays and onlays are made from materials such as porcelain or composite resin, which are known for their durability and long-lasting nature. These materials can withstand chewing forces better than traditional amalgam fillings, making them an excellent choice for dental care.
Since inlays and onlays are custom-made to fit the exact shape of your cavity or damaged tooth area, they provide a seamless fit that prevents bacteria from entering the treated area. This helps reduce the risk of further decay and promotes overall oral health.
By considering these benefits, it’s clear why inlays and onlays have become a popular choice among both dentists and patients seeking effective dental care solutions with improved safety features.
How are Inlays/Onlays Applied?
So, you’d think applying inlays and onlays would be a complicated process, right? Well, it’s actually quite straightforward and efficient!
The procedure typically requires two visits: one for examination and preparation of the tooth, and another for placing the inlay or onlay.
During your first visit, the doctor will remove any decayed areas or old fillings from the affected tooth. They’ll then take an impression of the prepared tooth which is sent to a dental laboratory where your custom-made inlay or onlay is created.
While you wait for your second appointment, a temporary filling may be placed to protect the prepared tooth.
At your next visit, the temporary filling is removed and replaced with the finished inlay or onlay. The dentist will ensure that it fits perfectly before bonding it permanently to your tooth using a strong adhesive.
Finally, they will polish the restoration so that it blends seamlessly with your natural teeth!
When Should Inlays/Onlays Be Used?
In general, inlays and onlays are recommended when a tooth has experienced moderate decay or damage that is too extensive for a simple filling but not severe enough to require a crown. They can also be used as an alternative to traditional fillings if the goal is to preserve more of the natural tooth structure.
They are especially useful for treating cavities found in the chewing surfaces of molars since they provide better support and protection against future decay. Furthermore, these restorations can also be chosen for their durability, which makes them an excellent choice for patients who have heavily restored teeth or grind their teeth at night (bruxism).
Ultimately, we will help you determine whether inlays or onlays are the most appropriate treatment option based on your specific dental needs and preferences.
Aftercare Guidance for Inlays/Onlays
Now that we’ve explored when inlays and onlays might be the right choice, let’s delve into some aftercare tips to ensure their longevity and effectiveness in preserving your dental health. Following proper guidance will help make these restorations a safer solution for your teeth.
Maintain good oral hygiene: Just like with your natural teeth, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene habits to keep the inlays or onlays clean and free from bacteria. This includes brushing at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing regularly, and using an antibacterial mouthwash.
Regular dental check-ups: Scheduling regular dental check-ups allows the dentist to monitor the condition of your inlays or onlays and address any issues before they become more severe. It’s generally recommended that you visit us at Above & Beyond Dental every six months for a routine exam and cleaning.
Avoid excessive pressure on restored teeth: While inlays and onlays are durable restorations designed to withstand normal chewing forces, it’s important not to place excessive pressure on them by avoiding habits such as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing on hard objects (like ice), or using them as tools to open the packaging.
By following this aftercare guidance, you can enjoy the benefits of having a safer solution for restoring damaged teeth while ensuring their long-lasting success.
In conclusion, we’ve explored the world of inlays and onlays as a safer solution for dental restorations. These treatments provide a precise and durable way to restore our teeth while preserving their natural structure.
Like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, inlays and onlays offer a customized fit that can help prevent future decay and damage to our teeth. Plus, their non-invasive approach means less trauma to our teeth and gums, resulting in a faster and more comfortable recovery.
Our team of experienced dental professionals at Above & Beyond Dental, Borger TX is committed to providing exceptional care and support to help you achieve the smile you deserve. Contact us today to schedule your appointment and learn more about how our inlays and onlays services can enhance your dental health and appearance. We look forward to serving you!