Inlays and Onlays
A popular alternative to silver fillings for back teeth requiring small to medium sized restorations, is inlays and onlays. Made from either gold or tooth-coloured porcelain, inlays and onlays are a much more conservative treatment solution to return teeth to their full form and function than silver amalgam fillings or a full crown.
Crafted by our laboratory, in a similar process to a crown, they fit your tooth precisely and once secured in place, your new inlay or onlay can be up to 75% stronger than a traditional silver amalgam filling. A major advantage of inlays or onlays is when they bonded into position they seal your tooth more effectively than an amalgam filling, preventing the possibility of decay forming or further tooth fracturing, which can sometimes occur with the micro-movement of an amalgam filling.
Placement of an inlay or onlay provides you with a strong, long-lasting restorative treatment solution.
Procedure for placing inlays and onlays
As with every dental service, fixing inlays and onlays also starts with a preliminary consultation with our dentist. We assess your specific situation to come up with a treatment plan. During the consultation, we will discuss details about the procedure and the materials to be used. This is also the time to get all your concerns addressed, so feel free to ask us anything and get completely comfortable with the treatment plan.
It usually takes a couple of visits at the clinic to complete the procedure. During the first visit, your dentist will clean your mouth and then numb the area to be treated. If you have any damage or decay on the tooth or gums, they are all first drilled away to prepare a clean bacteria-free base for the placement of the inlay or onlay.
Your dentist then takes an impression of the damaged tooth. Using this impression, the laboratory prepares the dental inlay or onlay which will be a perfect fit for your tooth. While the lab is preparing the final piece, a temporary replacement inlay or onlay will be placed on the tooth. The final fitting will be done during the second visit.
During the final fitting, your dentist will ask for your feedback as she places the inlay or onlay, and ensure that you get a perfect fir. Only after you confirm that the fit is perfect will they bond it to the tooth using a resin adhesive. You might experience a bit soreness in the area, but this discomfort will subside within a few days.
Advantages of Inlays and Onlays
Both inlays and onlays offer restorative care to the teeth. They also support the tooth structure and prevent further damage.
If you’re considering a restorative procedure for your teeth, you may understandably be worried about how it would look. Will people know I have had this procedure? Is it very obvious? Has it improved my smile? Don’t worry, the material used for inlays and onlays mimic natural teeth to such an extent that no one will be able to tell you’ve had a procedure done. They also improve the smile and appearance to a considerable extent.
How to take care of inlays/onlays
Take care of the inlays and onlays just as you would your natural teeth. Brushing twice in a day and daily flossing – these are vital to maintain the health of your natural teeth and also of inlays and onlays. Your daily oral hygiene habits will significantly determine the longevity of any dental procedure that you have had.
If you want to get in touch with us to learn more about inlays and onlays, or about any other dental procedure, give us a call to set up an appointment with our friendly dentists.