A Detailed Guide To Inlays and Onlays

A Detailed Guide To Inlays and Onlays

Oct 01, 2021

Despite the numerous innovations in the dental industry, dental issues continue to affect millions of individuals globally. Thankfully, there are numerous restorative treatments that are designed to fix dental problems. These include veneers, dental crowns, bonding, fillings, and dental inlays and onlays. If you have mild to average tooth decay or damage, your dentist can recommend getting an inlay or onlay.

Mostly, inlays and onlays are used to restore a tooth whose damage is too large to fix with dental fillings or too small to require a dental crown. For instance, if you have small cavities, your dentist will use fillings to fill the cavities. If your tooth has deep decay and is weakened, the dentist is likely to perform a root canal and then placed a dental crown to cover the tooth.

If you’re wondering what restorative treatment is right for you, you should consult your dentist. The dentist will examine your tooth and oral health and determine the best solution for your case. Keep in mind that all these treatments have their own benefits, and whichever treatment your dentist recommends, you can rest assured that your tooth’s strength, function, appearance, and structure will be restored.

Difference between Inlay and Onlay

If you’re new to the concept of inlays and onlays, here are the most basic definitions. An onlay fills in larger cavities, including the cusps. Onlays work similarly to dental crowns, only that they do not cover the entire tooth surface. An inlay is used to fill in hollows or cavities in teeth in the areas between the cusps.

Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays

There are many essential benefits of getting inlays and onlays. These include:

  • Long-lasting – Inlays and onlays are strong and durable and can resist damage more than traditional fillings.
  • Stain-resistant – Inlays and onlays are more resistant to stains and discoloration than natural teeth.
  • Improves the Tooth’s Appearance – Inlays and onlays blend well with the color of the natural teeth, giving you a natural smile.
  • Restore a tooth’s structure, function, and shape
  • Prevent further damage to a tooth
  • Improve your oral hygiene and health

Inlay and Onlay Procedure

Getting an inlay or onlay is a generally standard procedure that requires about two visits to the dentist office. If you’re curious about what goes on during an inlay or onlay procedure, here is a typical process:

  • The dentist numbs the area.
  • Since inlays and onlays are mostly used to fix cavities, the dentist begins by removing the tooth’s existing filling or decayed tissues.
  • The dentist then cleans and shapes the tooth to prepare it for the inlay or onlay
  • Impressions of the decayed tooth are taken and sent to the lab to create the inlay or onlay. The dentist chooses a shade of material that blends well with your natural teeth.
  • Next, the dentist places a temporary filling to seal the cavity as you wait for the inlay or onlay to be made. This protects the teeth against damage, further decay, and sensitivity.
  • Once the inlay/onlay is ready, you’ll be called in for the second appointment.
  • During the second appointment, the dentist begins by numbing the area to prevent pain and keep you relaxed.
  • Next, the temporary filling is removed, and the inlay or onlay is cemented into place.
  • The inlay or onlay is polished, and you’ll be good to go home.

Inlays and Onlays Lifespan

One of the key benefits of inlays and onlays is that they are durable and long-lasting. They can serve you for about 5 – 30 years. The lifespan of the inlay or onlay also depends on how well they were placed and the construction material.

Inlays and Onlays Aftercare Tips

Fortunately, the recovery time for inlays and only is relatively quick. However, since your tooth is still susceptible to decay and infections, it’s essential to practice good oral hygiene to keep your restorations and teeth strong and clean. Dentists recommend practicing the following tips:

  • Brush and floss daily.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid harsh dental products.
  • Eat healthier and hydrate well. Avoid acidic and sugary foods such as candy and soda. They encourage bacteria growth in the mouth, increasing the risk of getting cavities.
  • Avoid chewing hard or sticky food.
  • Schedule regular dental exams and cleanings.
  • Check your inlay and onlays for damages regularly.
  • Wear a mouth guard during contact sports or at night if you clench or grind your teeth.

Schedule An Appointment Today

Are you interested in dental inlays and onlays treatment? Contact Hammond Pond Dental Group today to book your appointment.

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