When you get a cavity, your options usually include either a filling or a crown.
Did you know that you could get the best of both worlds?
There are dental filling- crown hybrids that many dentists use to restore and enhance teeth. They’re called inlays and onlays.
How Do Inlays and Onlays Work?
Inlays and onlays are called indirect restorations as opposed to direct restorations.
Direct restorations are fillings, which are packed directly into your tooth in one sitting. But an indirect restoration is based on a mold taken of your prepared tooth. The restoration is carved from a material (usually tooth-colored porcelain) and then that piece is cemented into your tooth at a later date.
This process is very similar to that of placing dental crowns. The only difference is that crowns cover the entire tooth while inlays and onlays replace a part of it.
So, inlays and onlays are strong like dental crowns but more conservative like fillings. This makes them the perfect hybrid for repairing teeth that need more support than a filling can give.
The hybrid restorations are called inlays when they replace a part of the “valley” in a molar. They become onlays when they have to replace part of a cusp or edge on a tooth.
Does Your Tooth Qualify for an Inlay or Onlay?
If you have a cavity that needs treatment, then an inlay is a great option. Some patients opt for an inlay even when their tooth doesn’t have much damage simply because they want a stronger and more lasting treatment.
Ask a restorative dentist about inlays and onlays the next time they recommend a filling.
Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
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