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Classic Smiles Team
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays are one of the alternatives for dental fillings that we have here at Classic Smiles. Our prosthodontists use inlays and onlays to fill cavities, strengthen a tooth, or restore its shape. Inlays and onlays are pieces of dental prosthetics that are manufactured in a lab and then attached to a tooth. Inlays and onlays are used on premolars and molars. They are quite effective in restoring teeth to their normal functionality.
The main difference between inlays and onlays is their shape. Inlays are used when the cusp of the tooth has not been damaged. When the cusp is damaged, the tooth requires an onlay. As such, an onlay is always larger than an inlay, and its top is shaped like a cusp.
Why Should You Opt for Inlays or Onlays
Inlays and onlays are recommended when the decay or damage on your tooth is too much for a filling. Where the cavity is too large, dental fillings tend to fall off after a short while. The tooth must still be strongly rooted in the jaw, though. If not, a crown would be a better solution. Inlays and onlays are installed in efforts to save a natural tooth and its original structure despite the tooth having undergone serious damage.
Inlays and onlays are quite durable. They are usually made from hard-wearing materials such as silver and gold. Inlays and onlays can last for up to 30 years. So long as the natural tooth remains intact, the inlays and onlays will stay in place for decades.
How are Inlays and Onlays Made?
Inlays and onlays are usually completed in two appointments. The procedures for both inlay and onlay placements are quite similar. The only difference is in the development of the prosthetic pieces.
During the first appointment, our dentist will clean out all the decay on your tooth. A cavity is usually left behind after this process. The cavity has to be properly cleaned and disinfected before anything is placed in it. Our dentist will then file and shape the cavity to prepare it for the inlay or onlay.
Once the tooth is ready, our dentist takes an impression of the tooth and the cavity and sends it to a lab. The prosthetic piece will be manufactured in a lab using that impression. You'll have to come for a second appointment, during which the prosthetic piece will be inserted into the cavity and secured in place. While you wait for the final inlay or onlay, a temporary restoration will be placed into the cavity to protect the tooth.
Once the final inlay or onlay is in place, it has to be polished and smoothened so that it appears natural. Porcelain and ceramic pieces usually blend in well with the shade of the natural teeth in your mouth. Nobody would be able to that tell that you have prosthetic pieces in your mouth. Gold and silver would be easily identifiable as a result of their distinct shade, and they are not as aesthetically appealing. Call Classic Smiles at (407) 378-0139 today to learn more about inlays and onlays.