What are inlays and onlays used to treat?
For those whose teeth are damaged with cracks, fractures, or moderate decay which isn't severe enough to warrant a crown, restorations may be done with an inlay or an onlay
. Inlays and inlays are the middle ground between a dental filling and a crown, in cases where the patient has more damage than can be treated with a filling, but enough healthy tooth enamel left that a crown isn't necessary.
They are made from a durable, tooth-colored material that can last for up to thirty years. Unlike amalgam fillings which may weaken the tooth structure, inlays and inlays can actually strengthen the tooth by up to 75%, prolonging the life of the tooth.Dental Inlay
- These are similar to dental fillings, and are placed inside of the tooth structure.Dental Onlay
- More extensive than an inlay, inlays extent over the top edges of the tooth.
Often, Dr. Hill will recommend one of these when the time comes to replace an old filling. The old filling will be removed, after which he will make an impression of the tooth. This impression will serve as a guide for a dental lab that will manufacture the new inlay or onlay. These can be made from a tooth-colored composite material, porcelain, or even gold.
Once the inlay or only returns from the lab, Dr. Hill will bond it in place at your next appointment. Tooth-colored inlays and onlays will blend in with all of your teeth, looking perfectly natural.
Check back for our follow-up blog to learn more about inlays and inlays.
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