Convenient Same-day Inlays and Onlays Can Strengthen and Protect Damaged Teeth
If you have suffered from a cavity too large to be restored by a filling, you may qualify for an inlay or onlay. These restorations are a conservative alternative to a dental crown to provide necessary strength and protection. Drs. John Fatse and John Scovic use advanced technology, including the innovative CEREC® system. With CEREC®, we can design, fabricate, and place a custom inlay or onlay in a single appointment. To learn more about inlays and onlays, contact our Monroe, CT, practice to schedule an appointment.
Inlays an onlays provide vital strength, protection from decay, and can restore both the aesthetics and function of your smile.
Inlays and Onlays: The Basics
Inlays and onlays are made of porcelain, and are typically used to restore molars. An onlay will fill the area of a tooth damaged by a cavity, and replace at least one cusp of the tooth. A smaller inlay will simply fit in between the cusps. Drs. Fatse and Scovic may recommend one of these restorations if you have a cavity too large for a filling, or small crack that does not require a crown. Inlays and onlays provide vital strength, protection from decay, and can restore both the aesthetics and function of your smile.
How Inlays and Onlays Compare
Inlays and onlays offer similar benefits to dental fillings by providing necessary strength and protection after the removal of damaged tissue. However, because inlays and onlays are larger, and made of porcelain, they can effectively strengthen teeth which have suffered from more extensive decay. In some cases, these restorations can also be more appropriate if your damaged tooth regularly undergoes a lot of pressure from chewing or grinding.
Inlays and onlays are sometimes called partial crowns because of the similarities between the restorations. All three types of restorations can restore the function and structure of your tooth, providing vital protection from decay. However, inlays and onlays require less tooth preparation, preserving more of your natural tooth structure. Inlays and onlays are also typically more affordable than crowns.
Designing and Placing Your Restorations
If an inlay or onlay is the right option for you, we will begin by preparing your tooth. All damaged and decayed tissue will be removed, and your tooth will be reshaped to properly support your restoration. We will then use our hand-held scanner to take highly detailed digital scans of your tooth.
With our advanced CEREC® system, we will use the digital impressions to create customized designs to match your exact specifications. These designs will then be sent to the in-office milling unit. In less than an hour, your restoration will be carved from a solid piece of porcelain that matches the shade of your smile. Once your restoration has been created, we will ensure it fits properly, matching your bite and surrounding teeth, and secure it in place.
Though less well-known than other restorative treatments, inlays and onlays provide important benefits for your oral health. Contact our office today to learn more about these restorations.