Damaged or decayed teeth may be restored and protected using various restorative dentistry treatment options. Dental inlays and onlays are a more conservative option than dental crowns. These indirect fillings provide an alternative solution to tooth decay as they fit snugly around your tooth and protect it.
Difference between Dental Fillings and Indirect Fillings
Traditional dental fillings are molded into your mouth as you sit in the dentist’s chair, while dental inlays and onlays are created in a dental lab, and then bonded to your damaged tooth. Dental fillings are packed into your cavity once the decay is removed, while dental inlays and dental onlays are cemented to your tooth and provide stronger protection and support.
Inlays vs. Onlays
An inlay is a dental restoration where the material is bonded in the center of your tooth and fits snugly within the grooves of your teeth. They cover the contours or cusps of your tooth and are smaller than onlays and dental crowns.
An onlay is used when there is more extensive damage, and covers one or more tips of your cusps. While this restoration covers more of your tooth, it does not protect the entire chewing surface of your tooth the way a dental crown does.
Dr. Chee can answer your questions about porcelain inlays and onlays during the initial consultation at our Calgary office.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Some benefits of dental inlay and onlay restorations include:
- Structural Safeguard: Inlays and onlays preserve healthy teeth while restoring decayed and damaged areas. Their fit and durable material also strengthens weak areas of your natural teeth, thereby enhancing your overall oral health.
- Better Fit: Their conservative preparation means that inlays and onlays preserve as much of your healthy tooth as possible. If you have mild to moderate tooth decay, and decay that extends in between your teeth, these restorations are an ideal alternative to full-coverage crowns.
- Easy to Maintain: Inlays and onlays are tailored to fit your particular tooth, making it easier to brush and floss than with a full-coverage restoration.
- Natural Appearance: Not only are they the same colour as your natural teeth, these restorations are less likely to discolour with age as tooth-coloured composite fillings often do.
- Tight Space Fulfillments: Cavities between your teeth are better protected with inlays, which provide a tighter seal and more effectively keep bacteria out. Inlays are also easier to clean and more stain resistant than composite fillings.
Inlays and onlays are typically completed in two visits at the Aesthetic Dental Studio. During your first visit, our team will remove the decayed portion of your tooth, take an impression and send it to the dental lab. A temporary filling will be placed while your custom inlay or onlay is being created.
During your second visit, the restoration will be permanently bonded to your tooth.
Schedule your free consultation to discuss your suitability for dental inlays or dental onlays today by calling 403-543-4600 or contacting Aesthetic Dental Studio online. Serving patients in Calgary, Cochrane and all of Alberta.