Inlays and Onlays
Cavities are an incredibly common oral health issue. While often associated with children, 91% of adults in the United States have experienced at least one cavity in a permanent tooth. Typically, cavities are treated with amalgam or composite resin fillings. While these types of fillings are effective in many cases, there are certain situations in which they can compromise the affected tooth further. At Raptou Family Dental, we can treat more complicated cavities with inlays and onlays.
In many cases, amalgam or composite fillings are used to treat cavities. Amalgam fillings are the oldest fillings. They are made of a mixture of metals suspended in mercury. These fillings are incredibly strong. Composite fillings are made up of a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. While not as strong as amalgam, these fillings are still fairly strong. They also blend in with the color of your natural teeth.
While these fillings can be used in many different situations, there are certain situations in which they can compromise the health of the affected teeth. One such location is the chewing surfaces of your molars. These teeth receive an extreme amount of chewing pressure. These pressures can drive an amalgam filling deeper into the tooth, which can then cause the tooth to split. They can also cause a composite filling to break down or wear out faster.
Treating Cavities With Indirect Fillings
For cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars, inlays or onlay may be recommended. Inlays and onlays are often referred to as indirect fillings, as they are created outside of the tooth and placed inside the cavity, unlike traditional fillings, which are cured inside the cavity. Inlays are used in situations where the cavity affects a single cusp of your molar. Onlays are used when two or more cusps have been affected and are often called partial crowns.
The Process of Getting Inlays and Onlays
Getting an inlay or onlay, unlike a traditional filling, requires two separate appointments. At your first appointment, your tooth is cleaned, and decay is removed from the cavity. Next, we take an impression of the tooth. This impression is then sent to our dental lab, where your inlay or onlay is created. Inlays and onlays can be made from several different materials, with porcelain being one of the most popular options.
It can take up to two weeks for your inlay or onlay to be completed. During this time, a temporary filling is placed to protect your tooth from further decay and infection. At your second appointment, we check your completed inlay or onlay for fit and bite. If everything looks good, it is bonded into place inside the cavity with a special dental cement.
What Benefits Do Inlays and Onlays Provide?
Inlays and onlays provide several benefits. These include:
||Strengthening the tooth, rather than compromising it.
||Preservation of your natural tooth structure. We do not need to drill away as much of your natural tooth as we would with amalgam or even composite fillings.
||Inlays and onlays will not shrink inside of the cavity.
||Affordability. Inlays and onlays are both more affordable, and less invasive, than a crown.
If you have a cavity in the chewing surface of your molar, an amalgam or composite filling might compromise the integrity and health of the tooth further. Instead, you may benefit from an inlay or onlay. For more information, and to schedule your consultation, call Raptou Family Dental at (614) 427-0449 today.