Inlays and Onlays
Blue Bell, PA
When filling in cavities, many people consider crowns and fillings. But there are other options available. For instance, inlays and onlays can be used instead of crowns and fillings. When you have deep decay or a large fracture, crowns can significantly cover them. Conversely, fillings tend to work better for smaller cavities. There are times, however, when fillings are not sufficient. Moreover, crowns do not always provide sufficient protection against decay in some cases. Our dental specialist at Cramer Dental may recommend inlays and onlays to fill these gaps if you find yourself in this situation.
Difference Between Inlays and Onlays
Dentists use inlays to fill cavities between the cusps of a tooth. Onlays, on the other hand, fill in cavities as well as large areas that need filling. The onlays work in the same way as crowns, but they do not cover the entire surface of the tooth. The construction materials used for inlays and onlays are the same.
If your teeth are damaged from decay or injury, our dentist re-molds and fits inlays to restore their appearance. To fabricate the inlay, an impression will be taken by the dentist. Even though it will not affect the cusps, your inlay will fit perfectly in the area. The dentist will also match the color of the inlays to the tooth to make the restorations less visible.
When a dentist places an onlay on a tooth, it is often a choice if the cusps and biting surface have been damaged. There may be a need for an onlay if the cavity that needs to be filled is too large to be protected by the conventional fillings. It is also better to use an onlay rather than an inlay if you are at risk of cracking your tooth due to weakness.
The dentist prepares the tooth for the procedure in the same way he or she prepares a tooth for a filling procedure. As soon as the cavity has been drilled out, the dental professional is able to clean it up. You will be given a numbing anesthetic by the dentist to make you feel comfortable during the procedure. To fabricate the permanent onlay, the dentist will place a temporary onlay on the top of the cavity and send the impression to the lab to fabricate the permanent onlay. Onlays are beneficial because they preserve the overall structure of the tooth, as opposed to crowns where the dentist would have to reshape the tooth or sometimes even remove the cusps from the tooth.
The Lifespan of Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are durable. Your inlay may last for up to 30 years; however, the lifespan depends on the construction material. Other factors may also determine how long inlays last, so we may not be able to precisely tell you how long they will function. If, for instance, porcelain is used to make your onlays, they may last a short time compared to those fabricated from a composite material. Additionally, how well you care for the restorations determines how long they survive.
Find out more about inlays and onlays by visiting our team at Cramer Dental. Book an appointment by contacting us at (484) 370-4010.