Things You Should Know Before Getting Inlays and Onlays

Things You Should Know Before Getting Inlays and Onlays

Aug 31, 2021

With dental decay being common in dentistry, you have probably heard of dental crowns or fillings. They are restorative dental appliances used for filling in cavities and treating dental decay. While these oral materials are useful for such restorative tasks in dentistry, they are not the only ones in use. Have you heard of onlays and inlays? They are also tooth restorative dental applications that can help fill in dental cavities and treat dental decay.

If you are looking for a restorative dental clinic near you to learn more about how onlays and inlays work for you, visit us at Barry J. Cunha for a consultation with our best dental experts.

What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

They are types of tooth fillings used in dentistry to repair and restore diseased teeth. They are commonly used to treat dental decay, but can also be used to restore the shapes of teeth for cracks and breaks. Technically, dental crowns are used to cover teeth that are significantly decayed, while tooth fillings fill in small cavities. In cases where a filling is too small and a dental crown is too excessive a measure to take, you will need inlays and onlays services.

Inlays are designed to fill in the holes on teeth that are larger than what a typical dental filling can fill. The inlays only cover the pits of teeth without filling the cusps. On the other hand, onlays cover a much bigger surface and are used as alternatives to dental crowns. They fill the pits of teeth as well as the cusps. In essence, they cover the entire chewing surface of a tooth. However, they do not cover the entire structure of your tooth, like is the case with dental crowns. For this reason, onlays are sometimes referred to as partial crowns. Either way, both inlays, and onlays are molded and fitted into your tooth after determining the amount of damage your tooth has suffered.

Understanding the Procedure of Getting Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays procedures are not that different from the process of installing a tooth filling. The steps involved in your treatment include:

  1. Numbing – Local anesthesia will be used before your treatment begins. The anesthesia will numb your mouth so that you don’t experience any discomfort as your dentist is working. Since your tooth may already be in pain because of the infection, numbing is a paramount part of the process.
  2. Shaving and cleaning – The part of your tooth that is damaged need to be removed. A dentist will only shave off as much of your tooth’s enamel as is damaged by the infection. At this stage, the dentist will also determine the type of filling you get. If the filling is small, an inlay is used. However, for bigger holes, you will need an onlay, which will offer better coverage and reinforce the strength of your tooth. Once the damaged part has been removed, the dentist will clean your tooth. This step will ensure there are no bacteria left behind that will continue infecting your tooth.
  3. Temporary crowning – A temporary dental crown is placed over your prepared tooth. The crown will cover your tooth as your inlay or onlay is manufactured. Usually, the dentist will use impressions taken once your tooth is shaved and cleaned.
  4. Filling – This step will happen on your next dental visit when your oral filling is ready. The dentist will then use special dental cement to adhere the onlay or inlay to your tooth. Lasers or UV light will help cure the dental cement quickly. This procedure applies to onlays and inlays made of porcelain. However, for composite resin, the process involves applying the putty-like resin material directly to your tooth. The resin is then hardened with a laser. You may not need to get a temporary crowning for your tooth or schedule a different dental visit to complete your process.

Should You Try Dental Onlays or Inlays?

In restorative dentistry, your dental needs and personal preferences help determine the kind of procedure you get. If you prefer onlays and inlays, bring it up with the office of Barry J. Cunha during your consultation. Ensure you also discuss the type of material you want, whether porcelain or composite onlays and inlays.

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