For over 30 years, Oral Health Associates has strived to give our patients the best smiles. Through teeth whitening, cosmetic dentistry, family dentistry, or even dental implants, we’ve continuously been Green Bay’s preferred dentists. One method of great service is knowing and understanding each patient’s unique situation. This method gives us a leg up and allows us to determine which treatment is right for each patient. That being said, inlays and onlays allow us to provide patients with a great alternative to crowns or tooth extractions.
Inlays and onlays are a great treatment to repair moderately damaged teeth. There are times when the damage done to a tooth by decay is too extensive to be treated with a simple filling, yet not significant enough to need a full-coverage crown. In these cases, inlays and onlays are a great method of tooth restoration. Additionally, using an inlay and onlay instead of a crown allows you to retain more of your tooth, which provides great long term benefits.
An inlay or onlay is similar to a filling in that it covers a portion of the tooth to prevent future tooth decay. However, they’re different from a filling in that inlays and onlays are made outside of the mouth as an indirect filling and then bonded to the tooth, whereas a filling is applied directly to the tooth.
Inlays only cover sections within the cusps of a tooth, whereas onlays cover an area of one or more cusps. Notice the red line in the photographs to the right. It’s also important to notice that much more of the tooth is retained through inlays and onlays instead of crowns. With this, we always hope to catch tooth decay fast enough so crowns don’t have to be used and we’re able to use more conservative methods such as fillings or inlays and onlays. You can
The first step in getting an inlay or onlay will be to numb the tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic and then remove the decay, similar to a filling or crown. We have to do this in order to prevent the decay from progressing deeper into the tooth.
Once we have finished eradicating the tooth decay, we will take an impression of the tooth, either digitally or with a putty-like material, and send the impressions to a laboratory. There, the impression will be used to make a model of your tooth for the creation of your inlay/onlay. The final restoration can be made out of gold or a tooth-colored ceramic or resin. We will discuss these options in detail with you.
Before you leave the office, we will attach a temporary filling to your tooth to protect it until the permanent restoration is ready. At the second visit, your permanent inlay/onlay will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source, or a type of permanent cement.
We’ve had the privilege of cultivating amazing relationships with our patients for over 30 years, and we look forward to meeting your whole family through our cosmetic dentistry, family dentistry, and implant dentistry services. Call us today at (920) 437-3376 to learn more about inlays/onlays or you can request an appointment online! We look forward to hearing from you soon!