As a more conservative dental treatment than a crown, inlays and onlays are two methods of restoring the structure of a tooth after it has suffered from damage or decay. Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays can be used in place of traditional dental fillings when there has been structural damage to a tooth. Unlike dental fillings that are molded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays and onlays can be fabricated indirectly in the dental lab before they are fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth. The restoration procedure known as an “inlay” occurs when the protective material is bonded within the center of the tooth. Conversely, an “onlay” occurs when the tooth damage requires the inclusion of one or more cusps (points) of the tooth or when complete coverage of the biting surface is needed.
If you live in Washington and you’re looking for a reputable and trustworthy dentists, be sure to contact the professionals at Beautiful Smiles DC. We’re proud to be a leader in general dentistry and specialized dental services, and our compassionate dental experts are dedicated to ensuring your visit is comfortable and relaxed. From dental cleanings and crowns to full mouth reconstruction and braces, we can accommodate all of your dental needs. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our certified dentists!
The Benefits of Inlays & Onlays
Men and women throughout Washington prefer dental inlays and onlays because they are much less invasive than dental crowns. Since the inlay and onlay application doesn’t involve the removal of a healthy tooth structure, it is considered to be a minimally invasive dental procedure. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of this incredible dental procedure below:
- Superior Fit – Unlike traditional dental fillings, inlays and onlays preserve as much of the healthy tooth as possible. They are an excellent choice for people who suffer from moderate tooth decay that extends to the flossing area.
- Natural Color – Inlays and onlays not only boast esthetic longevity, they can be color matched to the distinct color of your natural teeth. They also don’t lose color over time like tooth-colored resin fillings often do.
- Easy Cleaning – Another major perk of inlays and onlays is that they are custom tailored to comfortably fit your teeth. Unlike composite fillings that can shrink during the curing process, inlays and onlays offer full coverage of your damaged tooth, so you never have to worry about them shrinking. They are also incredibly easy to brush and floss around, unlike prefabricated porcelain or gold crowns.
- Durability – If you have weak enamel and your teeth have been known to crack, inlays and onlays may be a great solution for you. Due to their durable structure, inlays and onlays can bear up to 50 to 75 percent more chewing force than the rest of your teeth.
What To Expect From Your Dental Procedure
When you visit Beautiful Smiles DC for your inlay or onlay procedure, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth, jaw, and cheeks before they get started. During your first visit, your dentist will work carefully to prepare your tooth for the procedure by removing the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth. Since inlays and onlays are a very conservative dental procedure, your dentist will do everything they can to remove as little of your natural tooth as possible. Your dental professional will then create an impression of your tooth which will match the shade, color, and texture of your natural teeth.
Most dentists will give you a temporary restoration while your permanent inlays or onlays are being created. The temporary restoration will help to protect your teeth before your next dental visit so you can chew safely and comfortably. When you schedule your second visit with the dentist, they will have your permanent restoration ready to bond to your tooth. Luckily, at Beautiful Smiles DC in Washington, our dentists can now create your dental inlays and onlays in just one visit. With the help of modern technology, we can fit your custom made inlays and onlays and cement them into place in a single visit. If you feel that you or someone you know is a good candidate for dental inlays and onlays, contact our dentists to schedule an appointment today!