Did you know that there’s a treatment available to correct the strength of teeth that have become damaged by chipping and cracking other than dental fillings, crowns, and dental veneers? Inlays and onlays from Lexington Dental Group are great solutions to minor dental damage on molars that require indirect restoration.
If you’re unfamiliar with what an indirect restoration is, it’s defined by the American Dental Association (ADA) as a “restoration that’s fabricated outside the mouth,” such as bridges, implants, and veneers. Unlike materials used in traditional fillings, inlays and onlays are made of stronger and more durable materials, which makes them ideal for treatment on a patient’s molars.
For example, dental fillings are most commonly composed of either composite resin or amalgam (a mixture of metals). In contrast, inlays and onlays are composed of porcelain (sometimes referred to as ceramic inlays and onlays).
A traditional filling will appear metallic in color and will need to be replaced every 5 to 10 years. Not only are porcelain onlays and inlays natural-looking in their appearance since they can be color-matched to surrounding teeth, but the material can strengthen a tooth by up to 75 percent and last up to 30 years with proper care.
Not only that, but inlays and onlays are considered a more conservative approach in dental restoration such as dental crowns since they require less of your natural tooth’s surface to be removed during the procedure.
When you visit our comprehensive dentists for inlays or onlays in Lexington, MA, we’ll discuss all treatment options available for your dental restoration so you can make the best choice for your short-term and long-term goals.
For example, we’ll let you know about the differences between various materials such as composite resin and porcelain against staining. We’ll also let you know how much of your natural tooth will need to be altered from each procedure, which can sometimes make the difference in your decision. But we can take a closer look right now at the differences between a dental inlay and a dental onlay.
As mentioned earlier, dental inlays and onlays are both considered indirect restoration of a tooth. That means they’re created in a dental lab after an impression of a patient’s tooth is performed. The easiest way to remember the difference between the two treatments is that an inlay fits within the grooves of the tooth that is being treated, and onlays are used when more of the tooth’s surface (including cusps) require restoration.
Another way of viewing the difference between procedures is that inlays fill an area of the tooth that would otherwise be repaired with a traditional dental filling. In contrast, an onlay not only fills in the gap that has been left by the cavity but covers more of a patient’s tooth surface for additional strength and durability.
Our goal at Lexington Dental Group is to help our patients retain their natural teeth for a lifetime, and the use of inlays and onlays help us achieve it. Instead of having to remove a tooth that has become so badly damaged by decay that it is no longer functional, our team of dentists can use alternate treatment protocols.
Like dental fillings and dental crowns, your dental inlays and onlays don’t require any special treatment after you’ve received them apart from daily at-home care and biannual check-ups. When you visit our dentists for your exams and cleanings, we’ll inspect the integrity of your inlay or onlay to ensure that it’s not loose or hasn’t cracked.
The advanced technology we use in our practice not only guarantees perfect placement of your dental restoration, but it allows us to stay ahead of dental concerns such as lost fillings or cracked teeth before they escalate into dental emergencies. Likewise, when patients practice diligent at-home dental hygiene care and adhere to a regular schedule of exams and professional cleanings, they also increase their outlook for a healthy smile without complications.
Have you been delaying treatment for a cavity because you haven’t located a dentist near you that provides tooth-colored restorations yet? If so, we invite you to book an appointment today with our dentists near you. That way, you can receive gentle, natural-looking dental restorations before your cavity becomes too large to treat with a tooth-colored restoration.