Inlays and Onlays
On occasion, you may need restorative procedures to fix a tooth after a cavity or other types of damage. Dental crowns are often used for this purpose, but these are not your only option. For a less invasive procedure, we have dental inlays and onlays available. These are both used for the same purpose and the preference for one over the other depends on the extent of the damage. We have several materials available and can give you more information on dental inlays and onlays at Southern Family Dental Care.
Inlay and Onlay Material
We use three main types of inlays and onlays for tooth restoration: gold, ceramic, and composite resin. Gold inlays and onlays are the strongest, though these do not blend with natural tooth color. These are generally used for your back teeth that are less noticeable, but more involved in chewing. Alternatively, they are also used when you have a filling made of a different material that continually fractures. Ceramic is a porcelain material that blends very well with your natural teeth. This is not as durable as gold, but it is still fairly tough, and it is also stain-resistant. Composite resin is the weakest type of inlay and onlay, but it is still stronger than traditional fillings. It is not stain resistant, but it does blend with your natural teeth.
Inlay and Onlay Procedure
Because this can be used as an alternative to a cavity filling, you may receive this on the same day as cavity treatment. However, you may have had a cavity filled previously and are now getting an inlay or onlay instead. If this is the case, our dentist will first need to remove the filling. They will also remove dental tissue and shape the tooth as needed to allow for the easier inlay or onlay placement.
After the tooth is prepared, our dentist makes a dental impression that is used by our lab to construct your custom inlay or onlay. This also helps you and our dentist decide on the best material for the procedure. You will receive a temporary filling at this appointment to protect your tooth in the meantime.
We will inform you when the inlay or onlay is ready for placement. At this follow-up appointment, you may receive a local anesthetic if needed. The temporary filling is removed, and dental cement is used to place the inlay or onlay.
Inlay and Only Care
You will receive more specific after-care instructions following your inlay or onlay procedure. For instance, you may need to avoid certain food types following the procedure to ensure the tooth does not get damaged. In addition, our dentist will encourage you to maintain your oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing daily ensures that the teeth stay bacteria-free so that you do not need any more fillings, inlays, or onlays in the future. Using mouthwash is also a good idea to cleanse your mouth from bacteria overall.
Our dentist will also recommend routine appointments every six months. This allows for professional cleaning, but also gives our dentist the opportunity to check the condition of the inlay or onlay. For more information, contact Southern Family Dental Care at 470-410-9774 today.