Inlays and onlays are the ideal dental restorations needed to repair damaged teeth, not only improving your oral hygiene, but enhancing the look of your smile. Dental inlays and onlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth. Both will rejuvenate your smile! Dr. Middleton can also use inlays and onlays to replace dark, old dental restorations that can look unappealing.
There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office. They are placed in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory. Two visits are needed to place them. The type your dentist will use depends on how much of the tooth is left.
Direct Inlays and Onlays
Your dentist will remove the decay and shape the tooth. He or she will put a soft material called composite resin on the tooth. The composite resin is molded to fit the tooth. The inlay is removed and hardened in a special oven. Then, your dentist will cement the hardened inlay to your tooth. After the inlay is cemented, it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together.
There is also new technology that allows the dentist to have a ceramic inlay or onlay made in the office and cemented on at the same visit.
Indirect Inlays and Onlays
Your dentist will remove the decay. He or she then will make an impression of the prepared tooth and neighboring teeth. The tooth will get a temporary filling. The impression will be sent to a laboratory, which will make the inlay or onlay.
At your second visit, your dentist will take out the temporary filling and clean and dry the tooth. He or she will then cement the inlay or onlay to the tooth. Then it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together.
Some dentists have a machine that allows the dentist to take a picture (instead of an impression) of the prepared tooth. Then a computer guides the machine in making a ceramic inlay, onlay or crown. This process can take less than one hour. Your inlay or onlay can then be cemented into place at the same visit.
Inlays and onlays are completely natural looking dental restorations that will restore the strength and stability to your teeth. Dr. Middleton emphasizes that inlays and onlays will make your oral hygiene routines easier! In only two dental visits, your oral health will drastically improve with inlays and onlays.
A dental inlay or onlay is bigger than a filling and smaller than a crown. It is bonded or cemented into place. An inlay is actually similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of your tooth. An onlay is larger than an inlay. It replaces one or more decayed cusps.
Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin (plastic) or ceramics. They can last for 10 years or longer. How long they last depends on:
- The material used
- The teeth involved
- The forces of chewing
- How well you maintain them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist
Watch this informative video on Inlays and Onlays:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Wu8_MCnJs (Source: YouTube)
Only Dr. Middleton will be able to determine whether or not inlays and onlays will be right for your situation.
For more information about bad breath prevention, call Dr. Gerald Middleton in Riverside, CA at 951-688-3442. Visit our website for special offers, updates and to make an appointment, www.gmdental.com.
Accepting patients from Riverside, Norco, Ontario, Murrieta, Fontana and surrounding communities.