Inlays and Onlays
If you need a restorative treatment for mild to moderate tooth damage, then you may have found fillings to be insufficient and crowns to be too invasive. That is why The Center for Esthetic Dentistry offers our patients inlays and onlays, so you have the greatest flexibility when deciding on a restorative option for your smile.
Understanding Inlays & Onlays
You may have heard inlays and onlays called partial crowns, but despite some similarities this is misleading. Both treatments are applied to the outer surface of your teeth to fix minor amounts of damage, but inlays and onlays have a much lower impact on the health of your teeth. To fit over your tooth, crowns often require the tooth to be “shaped,” which means that the healthy parts of the tooth are removed. Inlays and onlays do not require the removal of any healthy material. Instead, an inlay simply covers the top portion of a tooth, while an onlay covers just the sides.
Materials for Inlays & Onlays
Depending on your budget, the location of the affected tooth, and the extent of the damage being repaired, you can get your inlay or onlay in several different materials. Composite resin is a very popular option due to its low cost and the relative ease with which it can be polished to match your other teeth. Unfortunately, composite resin stains easily and does not last as long as pricier options. Gold is also affordable and much more reliable, but is only suitable for rear teeth that will not be seen when you smile. Finally, ceramic and porcelain inlays and onlays are practically impossible to tell apart from natural teeth, but they come with an equivalently higher price tag.
How Inlays & Onlays Can Help You
Deciding between inlays and onlays, crowns, and fillings can be difficult - what makes each of them different and how do you know which is the best for your unique oral needs? The rule of thumb is to think of inlays and onlays as an in-between option for damage that a filling is insufficient to treat and a crown is too extreme for. We can only determine which choice is best after examining you at our office and then discussing your options with you.
Getting Inlays & Onlays
Receiving your inlay or onlay usually requires at least two appointments. First, we have to take an impression of your mouth. Using that impression as the design guide, we then create the inlay or onlay to precisely match the shape of your teeth. Fabricating high-quality dental appliances can take time, but once it is done, you can return to have the inlay or onlay bonded and polished.
Want to Know More?
Inlays and onlays are not offered at many dental practices, but at The Center for Esthetic Dentistry we believe that the flexibility they offer our patients in selecting a restorative treatment that is just right for them is worth it. If you want to find out more about how you may be able to avoid cheap fillings or invasive crowns with affordable and long-lasting inlays and outlays, give us a call today at 541-507-0999.