Onlays and inlays are great options for tooth restoration when dealing with tooth decay that is too extensive for a filling, but not extensive enough for a crown. The goal of these procedures is to remove decay while preserving as much of the natural tooth as possible while providing you with a natural-looking restoration. Our Lincoln Park dentist explains more below.
Both inlays and onlays are used to restore part of the tooth that has been destroyed by decay. Inlays are simply restorations that fit within the cusps of the tooth, and onlays are restorations that extend over the cusps. If a filling is used for this extent of decay, the tooth may crack, yet a full crown may be too excessive.
If there is enough healthy tooth structure left, an onlay or inlay may be used in place of a full crown to restore the tooth. Inlays and onlays are a sort of in-between procedure when a filling is not sufficient treatment for the decay – they are similar to a crown in that they require some reshaping of the tooth structure but are not as invasive. And, as opposed to a filling, which is an in-office procedure that fills a hole caused by decay, inlays and onlays are custom-made to the shape of your tooth and require multiple office visits.
If our dentist determines that an inlay or onlay is the best treatment option for you, the first office visit will consist of preparing the tooth. This involves a small numbing injection, removing the decay, taking an impression of the tooth area, and placing a temporary restoration. The impression will then be sent to a lab and your custom-made restoration will be placed in about two weeks.
Carefully floss the area until your permanent onlay or inlay has been placed. If the temporary restoration comes off, please see our dentist as soon as possible.
The information provided in this article is not meant to be medical advice and is for educational purposes only. If you would like to learn more about this and other topics related to dentistry, feel free to contact Dente Complete Dentistry, with a convenient dental office near Lincoln Park, IL, by calling 773.295.0562 or by clicking here.