Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Inlays and Onlays

An alternative to large fillings and crowns, dental inlays and onlays offer a secure, customized and durable solution to restoring a damaged tooth. Inlays and onlays are used to cover a minimal to moderate area on a single tooth. Also referred to as “indirect fillings”, inlays and onlays are made of hard, tooth-colored materials custom fit to fill larger cavities, or significantly diminished tooth structure. They are designed to match the adjacent teeth, provide a comfortable bite and restore dental function, including biting, speaking and chewing.

Dental Inlays

Dental inlays are most similar to traditional fillings. An inlay fits inside the center of the tooth – on the cusp tips – and securely seals the affected area, which minimizes any recurrence of decay. It can be made from various materials, including gold, porcelain and composite resin and all offer strength and durability.

Customized to precisely follow the tooth’s natural shape, inlays help patients recover their daily activities, and restore their dental function. Biting, chewing and talking are no longer challenging or difficult, and the smile looks healthier and more attractive.

Dental inlays can initially cost more than direct fillings, however patients find they are less likely to require repair or replacement. And, because they minimize the amount of damage done to the remaining tooth structure, inlays can help preserve teeth and prevent further decay.

Dental Onlays

Dental onlays cover a more extensive area of the tooth than inlays. Onlays provide a cover for a large section of the tooth, and extend over the cusps of the affected tooth. Treatment is very conservative and usually allows the dentist to avoid removing more of the natural tooth than if resorting to a traditional crown.

As with a dental inlay, an onlay is custom designed to fit the natural shape of the treated tooth using a solid material such as gold or porcelain. Gold is often used for its strength, but composite and porcelain materials increasingly demonstrate they too can last for a long time and provide a seamless smile.

At Bailey Dental Group, a Northwest Houston dental office, inlays and onlays are a part of our conservative approach to better oral health. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cory Bailey.

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