What are Inlays and Onlays? [Cosmetic Dentistry]

cosmetic dentistry Hemet, CA

Cosmetic dentistry can dramatically affect a patient’s overall appearance. For individuals who want a smile makeover, there are options. Inlays and onlays can help you attain a beautiful smile. They are less invasive than other cosmetic procedures and typically take only two appointments.

Types of tooth restoration

Fillings are the most common form of dental restoration. Drilling removes the decayed portion of the tooth, and it is replaced with a white or silver composite material. However, when a cavity is too big for a filling, but not big enough to warrant a crown, dental professionals often use inlays and onlays.

Inlays

This type of restoration goes into the hollowed out part of the tooth. A lab fabricates a single, solid piece of material to match the specific size and shape of the cavity or tooth damage and cemented into place. There are several situations in which an inlay may be more appropriate than a filling. One of the primary reasons is the level of damage or decay. When significant, it could weaken the tooth structure.

Even if the structure remains sound, crowns require a certain amount of tooth so that it can bond effectively. There are situations in which removing the damaged tooth might not leave enough material left to support the crown. In these cases, an inlay may be the preferred alternative. If the tooth is cracked or chipped or damage does not affect the biting surface, an inlay can restore the remaining tooth structure.

Onlays

This type of restoration goes into the hollowed out part of the tooth. A lab fabricates a single, solid piece of material to match the specific size and shape of the cavity or tooth damage and cemented into place. There are several situations in which an inlay may be more appropriate than a filling. One of the primary reasons is the level of damage or decay. When significant, it could weaken the tooth structure.

A temporary onlay is used until the permanent one arrives. The dentist removes it and fits the final piece over the tooth. Inlays and onlays are an alternative to dental crowns and may be used in place of traditional fillings. 

Inlays and onlays vs. crowns

A dentist may use inlays and onlays when there is still a significant amount of healthy tooth material. A crown replaces the entire outer structure of the tooth. It is typically used when more than half of the biting surface is damaged. A crown may also be necessary when other restoration processes could weaken tooth integrity.

Benefits of inlays and onlays

Cosmetic dentistry procedures typically take two appointments. The restorations are more conservative than crowns and more comprehensive than fillings. As a result, they have several benefits.

  • Uses durable materials, such as composite, metal or porcelain
  • Can last for many years
  • Causes less wear and tear on the gums
  • Looks natural
  • Custom-fit for less bacterial leakage

Conclusion

Cosmetic dentistry uses high-quality materials that can be shade-matched to the teeth around it, giving you a beautiful, natural-looking smile. Inlays and onlays can replace old fillings as they fail and keep more of the original tooth than a crown.

Are you considering cosmetic dentistry in the Hemet area? Get more information at https://hemetdentalcenter.com.

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