If you have a tooth that is too damaged to support a filling, but not so damaged that it needs a crown, inlays and onlays might be the solution for you. Nuera Dental Center is pleased to offer this effective restorative option that allows your teeth to keep their natural look!
Your Downtown Calgary Choice for Inlays & Onlays
What is an Inlay and Onlay?
Inlays and Onlays are used to fill in gaps in the teeth when a filling will not work because the tooth is too damaged, and a crown would be too intrusive. An inlay fills in hollows and cavities in areas between the cusps, mainly encompassing the chewing surface of your tooth. An Onlay is a more substantial reconstruction than the inlay, doing more than simply filling in cavities in those areas of the chewing surface, it also extends out and covers one or more cusps of the tooth. Both are similar to crowns in that they are both made from the same material and serve the same function as a crown. The difference is that they do not cover the entire surface of the tooth in the way a crown does.
Inlays and onlays are made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. Traditionally gold has been the material of choice, but in recent years porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and colour, which can potentially match the natural colour of your teeth.
Process of getting an Inlay or Onlay
Getting an inlay or onlay usually takes two appointments. At the first appointment, your teeth are thoroughly cleaned, making sure to remove the damaged or decayed area of the tooth. To ensure proper fit and bit, an impression of your teeth is made and sent to the lab for fabrication. Your dentist will then apply a temporary sealant to the tooth and schedule your next appointment. During your second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed and your custom created inlay or onlay is placed onto the teeth, making sure it fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and then polished for a smooth finish.
Considerations for Inlays and Onlays
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50%. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, which are bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.
Benefits of an Inlay or Onlay
- Made from high quality material
- Durable and long lasting with proper care
- Can treat tooth decay while preserving the tooth’s structure
- Can eliminate tooth sensitivity and tooth loot
- Can give restored tooth a natural, aesthetic appearance
If you think you might have a cavity that would benefit from an Inlay or Onlay, or you have any questions about Inlays or Onlays, call Nuera Dental Center at (403) 228-3088 and we will be happy to assist you.