Inlays & Onlays
An inlay is a dental restoration procedure using a pre-molded, fabricated appliance made of a solid substance such as gold, composite resin, or porcelain to repair damage inside the cusp of the tooth. An onlay is used to repair far more serious damage to the actual cusps of the tooth and usually extends over the biting surface. Both procedures may be utilized when a normal filling cannot sufficiently fix the tooth.
Inlays are generally chosen for bigger cavities, while a traditional filling is not sufficient to properly repair the damage. Our professionals may recommend an inlay or an onlay procedure when they are concerned the underlying tooth structure is too weak to accept a traditional filling, which may lead to further damage such as cracking or chipping. Here at O'Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care our highly trained staff can place your inlay or onlay. Contact us to make your appointment today.
Who Needs Inlays or Onlays?
Those patients who have a cavity that cannot be treated by a traditional filling can benefit from inlays or onlays. They may be suggested when a crown would be too invasive. Crowns typically require more of the healthy tooth to be removed to prepare the surface for placement and are usually more expensive. Inlays and onlays provide the perfect solution and are just as long-lasting as crowns.
Reasons for Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays offer an attractive cosmetic finish while also strengthening the affected tooth. Porcelain and ceramic inlays and onlays are generally used as effective restorations or front teeth because they can be colored to match the remaining teeth. They allow our staff to bond the onlay to the tooth with a permanent seal. When used on molars and pre-molars, resin or gold is generally considered the best materials because they are durable and long-lasting.
How Are Inlays and Onlays Placed?
The procedure for placing both inlays and onlays is similar to that of a traditional filling. A numbing agent is used to ensure the patient has no sensation in the affected area so our team can properly remove the harmful bacteria and clean out the remaining decay from the tooth. While traditional fillings take a single appointment where composite material is used to fill the space remaining after the decayed section of the tooth, inlays take two. At the first appointment, the tooth is cleaned and the surface prepared to accept the inlay, a temporary appliance put into place, while the permanent one is shaped and tinted to match the surrounding undamaged teeth. Each of the appointments generally takes about an hour.
Onlays are a little more involved because more of the tooth structure is removed to prepare the surface. When the permanent appliance is created, our staff will cement the bonded structure to the tooth and then polish it so it appears like the other natural teeth in the surrounding area.
How Long Do Inlays and Onlays Last?
Both inlays and onlays are durable, manufactured from long-lasting materials with an expected lifespan of up to thirty years. Interestingly enough, inlays and onlays strengthen teeth by up to 75%, while it is widely considered that traditional metal fillings can actually weaken teeth.
Let our office team at O'Sullivan, DeLuca & Ressel Dental Care place either an inlay or an onlay as needed. Call us at (352) 666-9898 to schedule an appointment or visit during normal office hours so we can help you.