Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are special types of fillings that are bonded to the tooth surface. Their creation and application differs from conventional fillings, in that they are fabricated outside the mouth, then placed into position and cemented. Whereas conventional fillings are a type of direct restoration, inlays and onlays are known as indirect restoration, as are crowns. They are typically used on molars and premolars. At Erik P. Cadra DMD our team of dentists and prosthodontists are able to provide you with any type of indirect restoration you may need.
A conventional composite filling will eventually shrink, causing gaps around the edges of the filling, known as marginal cavities. Inlays and onlays, when made of porcelain or metal, do not exhibit this shrinking problem. They also do not require as much of the natural tooth to be removed in preparation.
Inlay Instead of Filling
There are several reasons to choose the indirect restoration method of an inlay instead of the direct restoration of a filling. These include instances where a tooth has already been extensively restored, failure of a previous direct restoration filling, and difficulty in achieving a proper contour with a conventional filling. An inlay can also provide more structural strength than a conventional filling, particularly in a medium to larger cavity.
Inlays made of porcelain can be color matched to the surrounding tooth area. An inlay can be expected to last longer than a composite filling. With proper care, they can last thirty years.
More Than a Filling, Less Than a Crown
Sometimes there is moderate damage to a tooth that calls for more restoration than a conventional filling, but is not extensive enough for a crown. In this case, an onlay is a good choice. It adds strength to the tooth and does not require the more extensive removal of material necessary for crown preparation. It is like an inlay, but extends over the cusp of the tooth.
Fast and Precise
Just as in the process of getting a filling, our team will first apply a topical numbing agent on the gums, at the location where the numbing agent for the tooth will then be injected. Our team will take digital images of your existing tooth with a handheld device, or wand, before and after cleaning out any decay or other damage.
Inlays and onlays can be fabricated with the same method we use for crowns. The digital images are uploaded to a computer, which renders a 3D model of your tooth. This information is then transferred to our CAD/CAM machine. Your inlay or overlay is created in the exact shape of the prepared space, and also exactly like the original exterior part of the tooth. It is finished in about 15 minutes, and is ready to be placed on your tooth.
As with any restoration procedure, you may experience some pressure sensitivity or hot and cold sensitivity for a few days. This should subside over time. We can provide desensitizing treatment if you are experiencing too much discomfort.
Our team at Erik P. Cadra DMD is committed to your comfortable restoration experience. For more information on inlays and onlays, call us at 661-502-6990.