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Inlays and Onlays: Advanced Restorations for Serious Damage and Decay

Dr. Melina Cozby Dec 1, 2014

A woman smiling and holding her faceThe team here at Forney Family Dentistry & Orthodontics believes in providing patients with the best possible dental care. This means the latest cosmetic dentistry treatments to enhance the beauty of patients' smiles and restorative dentistry treatments that improve dental health and overall wellness.

Treating cavities is a common service we perform at the practice, and when dental fillings are not an ideal option for care, it's important to consider inlays and onlays. Let's take a look a these kinds of restorations right now.

About Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are used to rebuild tooth structure that has been lost or compromised as a result of tooth decay, dental erosion, and/or tooth injury.

Inlays and onlays may be created from porcelain and composite materials or may be fashioned out of soft metal alloys. The ideal composition of the inlays and onlays will depend on the tooth/teeth being restored and their placement of the tooth/teeth in the mouth.

How Inlays and Onlays Differ from Dental Fillings

In some ways, inlays and onlays are similar to dental fillings in that they serve the same function. The primary difference is the extent of restoration that can be achieved. Dental fillings are more ideal for traditional cavities and minor tooth decay. By contrast, inlays and onlays can be used to rebuild a more substantial amount of tooth structure, including the biting surfaces (cusps) of the teeth.

Who is an ideal candidate for inlays and onlays?

The best candidates for inlays and onlays are people who suffer from major tooth decay or tooth damage who no longer qualify for a traditional dental filling but do not need a dental crown either. They should have realistic expectation about the nature of the restorative treatment that they will undergo and have a positive attitude and outlook toward the end results of care.

What to Expect During the Inlays and Onlays Process

The process of placing inlays and onlays is similar to the process of placing a dental filling.

First your dentist will administer local anesthetic to the area around your tooth to prevent undue pain and discomfort. Next, the tooth will be prepped for a restoration. This means removing the compromised tooth structure with a drill and leaving behind as much healthy tooth material as possible.

Once the tooth is completely prepped, an impression of the tooth is then taken. It is from this impression that the final inlay or onlay will be crafted. The finished restoration is checked one last time for fit and contact before it is finally adhered in place.

Caring for Your Inlays and Onlays

Caring for your inlays and onlays will involve proper dental hygiene and good general care of your teeth. In essence, the basics are best practices:

  • Avoid using tobacco products
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth at least once at night
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups

Schedule a Consultation at Forney Family Dentistry & Orthodontics

For more information about inlays and onlays as well as your many other options for advanced restorative care, we encourage you to contact our comprehensive dental care center today. The team here at Forney Family Dentistry & Orthodontics looks forward to your visit and helping you have a smile that looks great and is healthy as well.

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108 E US Hwy 80 Ste 190
Forney, TX 75126

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