Inlays and Onlays: Dental Restorations for Major Damage and Decay

Woodinville Inlays and Onlays

Nov 20, 2014 — by Cristin Dowd, DDS
Tags: Inlays Onlays Restorative Dentistry

A man in a room smiling with two women in the backgroundThe team here at Signature Smiles has been helping Woodinville get the smiles of their dreams. We accomplish this through the latest restorative dentistry treatments to improve dental health and wellness as well as advanced cosmetic dentistry treatments that enhance the beauty of people's smiles. When it comes to addressing advanced tooth decay, there's a solution that can combine the aims of both restorative and cosmetic dentistry: inlays and onlays.

About Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are a kind of dental restoration that are used to restore more substantial portions of tooth structure that have been compromised/weakened by advanced decay or tooth injury. They are generally used when fillings are no longer and ideal option for addressing the damage to a person's tooth structure.

How are inlays and onlays different from regular fillings?

Inlays and onlays are, for one, able to restore larger sections of tooth structure than traditional dental fillings. This includes being used to rebuild the entire biting surface (cusp) of a tooth. Traditional dental fillings simply cannot be used to restore that much tooth material.

Ideal Candidates for Inlays and Onlays

The best candidates for inlays and onlays are people who have experienced serious tooth decay or tooth damage that cannot be addressed with a filling. There should be enough healthy tooth structure remaining, however, in order to support the inlay or onlay when placed.

Patients should have realistic expectations about the treatment process as this will help ensure optimal patient satisfaction.

The Inlays and Onlay Procedure

The process of placing inlays and onlays is similar to the placement of traditional filling. Weakened tooth structure is removed in order to leave behind only sturdy tooth material. An impression is then taken of the prepped tooth, from which the inlays and onlays will be crafted. The restorations will be custom crafted for the best fit on the prepped tooth and to ensure ideal contact with the adjacent teeth and the teeth on the opposite dental arch.

The inalys and onlays may be made of tooth-colored material or a soft metal alloy depending on the tooth being restored and your dentist's recommendations. These matters can be discussed in more detail during your consultation.

Proper Care of Inlays and Onlays

Proper care of inlays and onlays is simple. Patients are simply asked to brush their teeth regularly, floss regularly, and attend their usual dental checkups. This will ensure that their teeth are healthy and that the restorations are not compromised by decay or damage. Quitting smoking and the use of any tobacco products is also advisable for achieving the best possible dental health.

Alternatives to Inlays and Onlays

If too much of your tooth structure is damaged, inlays and onlays may no longer be an ideal option for treatment. In these cases, the best treatment option will be dental crowns. These are caps that fit over the damaged tooth in order to restore strength and function. The ideal dental restoration for your needs can be discussed in greater detail during your visit with the dentist.

Schedule a Consultation for Advanced Restorative Dentistry

If you would like more information about inlays and onlays as well as your many other options for improved and advanced dentistry, be sure to contact our family dental care center today. The entire team here at Signature Smiles looks forward to your visit, discussing your dental issues, and then helping you achieve excellent dental health in the process.

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