Inlays and onlays in Arlington Heights IL

What are dental inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the tooth within its damaged area. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Porcelain inlays and onlays are used when a cavity proves too big for a tooth-colored “filling inlays” or when a metal filling that takes up most of your tooth is removed. Instead of using white composite resin or metal amalgam to fill a cavity, porcelain is the material that is used to fill the decayed area. Porcelain is a hard substance with greater durable than other filling materials, which is why an inlay and onlay must be crafted at a dental laboratory.

The procedure typically requires two visits. During the initial visit, the dentist will clean out the decay and bacteria from the cavity and administer a temporary filling. Once the inlay or onlay has arrived from the lab, the dentist will place it into the cavity. It is important to take care of your temporary filling. If the temporary filling falls out it will leave the root and nerves exposed, which can result in pain and cause the surrounding teeth to drift into the open area of the treated tooth.

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How it works

Getting an inlay or onlay is very much like what you would experience having a crown placed, with one important distinction: less of your natural tooth structure will need to be removed by drilling when you receive an inlay or onlay. When you get a crown, the tooth needs to undergo significant reshaping so that it will fit inside its new covering. Since dentistry’s goal is to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible, inlays and onlays may be recommended instead of crowns when a tooth can be restored with this more conservative type of treatment.

> The first steps in getting an inlay or onlay are numbing the tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic, and then removing the tooth decay. This is done in order to prevent the decay, which is actually a type of infection, from progressing deeper into the tooth.

> Once the tooth has been prepared, an impression of it is made (either digitally or with a putty-like material) and sent to the dental laboratory. There, the impression is used to make a model of your tooth for the creation of your inlay/onlay. The final restoration can be made out of gold or a tooth-colored ceramic or resin.

> Before you leave the office, a temporary filling will be attached to your tooth to protect it until the permanent restoration is ready. At your second visit, the permanent inlay/onlay will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent cement.

> Inlays and onlays are strong, long-lasting, and require no greater level of care than any other tooth. Conscientious daily brushing and flossing, and regular professional cleanings at the dental office are all you need to make sure your restoration lasts for years to come.

How do porcelain inlays and onlays differ?

The primary difference between a porcelain inlay and onlay is that they differ in size. An inlay is smaller and used to fill a cavity that is inside one cusp of the tooth, which are the tiny bumps at the top of the tooth. An onlay is larger and used to cover one or more cusps, and it usually extends over the tooth.

Inlays and onlays

How do porcelain crowns differ from Porcelain onlays?

A porcelain onlay is smaller than a porcelain crown, so it does not cover the entire tooth. Porcelain onlays are typically used if a tooth is slightly decayed but has enough tissue to support a filling. Porcelain onlays preserve more of your natural tooth than a porcelain crown.

What happens during the procedure for inlays and onlays?

The procedure begins by removing any decay or old filling material from the tooth. Once this is finished, impressions are taken and used to make the new restoration. You’ll come in for a second visit to have the restoration placed. We make any adjustments to the inlay or onlay as needed. This helps to ensure that the restoration is fitting properly. You can expect the inlay or onlay to become a durable part of your smile for many years to come.

If you would like to learn more about either inlays or onlays, please contact omni dental office today and we will be happy to schedule an appointment for you.

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