Inlays and Onlays
If you want to achieve a perfect smile, our dentists at Cleary Dental are qualified to provide inlays and onlays that can repair tooth damage. A filling will be used to fill in small cavities while a crown will be used to replace tooth structure. Like a filling or a crown, an inlay can be used to repair your tooth if its structure has been lost from tooth decay. When a filling provides too little protection and a crown provides more protection than necessary, an inlay is the best alternative. If you need an inlay or onlay this means that our dentist will need to cover and repair a unique area inside your tooth.
Your inlay procedure will require two appointments with our dentists. First, the dentist will x-ray your teeth so they can see the full extent of your decay. An x-ray will be able to show your tooth, its roots, and the surrounding bone. After x-rays, the dentist will inject a local anesthetic such as lidocaine so that you do not feel any pain during your procedure. Now the dentist will remove decay using a drill, laser, or air abrasion instrument. Our dentist may also use a caries detector that helps by dying less obvious areas of decay.
Our dentist's goal will be to eliminate all decay without causing excessive damage to the structure of your tooth. Inlays are special because they give your teeth another option besides a crown that will cover the entire surface of your tooth. Now, we will make an imprint that will be sent off to a dental laboratory where your inlay will be made. Your inlay will be made of porcelain or composite resin materials shaped to perfectly fit your tooth. During your next appointment, our dentist will be able to bond your tooth-colored resin inlay.
If you need an onlay this means that our dentist will need to fill in your tooth and part of the chewing surface. Your onlay procedure will be very similar if you were to have an inlay procedure. The key difference between an inlay and onlay is that your onlay will extend onto the chewing surface of your tooth. Onlays cover the cusps of your tooth. Your tooth’s cusps are the elevated mounds on your back teeth and your canines. Onlays are used when fillings or inlays are not enough to restore your tooth’s appearance and strength.
Your onlay procedure will take two appointments. First, our dentist will take an x-ray of your mouth to examine the tooth, its roots, and the bones that surround it. Like inlays, your tooth will be prepared by removing the area of decay after the dentist injects a local anesthetic. Then we will make an impression of your tooth and send it to a dental laboratory to be manufactured. Onlays are made of porcelain and composite resin just like inlays. Finally, during your last appointment, our dentist will apply a local anesthetic and permanently cement your onlay into place.
Improve Your Smile
If you are looking to repair your smile because your teeth have suffered damage during your lifetime, an inlay or an onlay could be the perfect solution. At Cleary Dental we are experienced in providing personal and professional dental care. To consult with our team, call us today at (856) 528-8607.