Inlays and Onlays: A Perfect Way to Deal with Damaged Teeth

Inlays and Onlays: A Perfect Way to Deal with Damaged Teeth

Dec 01, 2020

Having damaged or decayed teeth can negatively impact both your smile and dental health. These dental issues interfere with your natural tooth’s structural integrity, weakening it, and leaving it susceptible to more damage or the risk of infection.

Chipped, cracked, fractured, or broken teeth are usually structurally weak. Even though they do not currently cause you any pain or discomfort, they may keep on disintegrating and, over time, lead to the development of serious dental issues such as tooth loss.

Teeth displaying any form of structural weakness through decay or trauma are dental emergencies waiting to unfold.

However, you can opt to eradicate these dental issues and restore your smile, tooth function, and overall dental health. Thanks to the several technological advancements within the dental field, patients suffering from dental issues such as cracked or chipped teeth no longer have to wait for the worst to happen.

One of the excellent tooth restoration options we offer our patients in our general dentistry in Lexington, MA, is the use of dental inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays in Lexington, MA, have given patients with broken teeth a reason to smile and live freely again.

Dental Inlays and Onlays, In a Nutshell

Dental inlays and onlays are a top-notch option for indirect tooth restoration. They are also commonly referred to as partial crowns. Inlays and onlays are used within our general dentistry in Lexington, MA, to restore and repair teeth that have undergone a specific type of damage.

Inlays are typically used to repair small fissures and breakages and can also be used in the place of fillings to restore the structural integrity of a decayed tooth.

Onlays, on the other hand, can be utilized during cases where teeth have undergone considerably more damage. Like the inlays, onlays can fit within the tooth. However, they also spill over on the grooves and cusps of the affected teeth’s chewing surfaces to repair the damages.

Different Types of Inlays and Onlays

In the past, onlays and inlays were only made from a gold metal alloy, which was not aesthetically appealing to use for front tooth restorations. However, over time, they have evolved, coming in a different array of materials. With some designed to inconspicuously resemble natural tooth colors such as the porcelain inlays and onlays.

Here are the different types of dental inlays and onlays:

  • Porcelain

Porcelain inlays and onlays are tooth-colored and designed to resemble your surrounding tooth color. This means that they offer exceptional aesthetic benefits and can be used to restore teeth that stand in the line of visibility.

Apart from being aesthetically pleasing, porcelain inlays and onlays are known for being strong and durable. They also tend to be stain-resistant, and therefore, the restored teeth may not require any bleaching or whitening in the future.

  • Composite

A composite onlay or inlay is designed from a combination of acrylic and powdered glass material. Composite resin onlays and inlays are aesthetically appealing and come in different customized shades to ensure that every patient’s unique tooth color is catered for.

However, a composite onlay or inlay is not stain-resistant and tends to be less malleable compared to the other types of onlays and inlays.

  • Gold

Inlays and onlays were traditionally constructed from gold and only began evolving into tooth-colored options as the demand for more aesthetic and inconspicuous restorative materials increased among patients.

Gold inlays and onlays are popular due to their strength and durability. They can withstand wear and tear and can outlive both the porcelain and composite inlays and onlays. It’s a good option for back tooth restorations.

Because it is malleable, it can be molded over the cusps of the damaged back teeth. Gold onlays and inlays are stain-resistant; their only drawback is that they are not aesthetically appealing and can be quite conspicuous when used for front tooth restoration.

When Are Inlays and Onlays Necessary?

Inlays and onlays are necessary for the restoration of teeth that have the following dental issues:

  • Chipped, Cracked, or Fractured

Inlays and onlays can restore the structural integrity, function, and appearance of chipped or cracked teeth that do not require extensive dental work such as crowns or root canal therapy.

  • Decayed Teeth

Tooth decay results in the formation of cavities, which weaken the structural integrity of a tooth and make it susceptible to infections. Inlays and onlays can be used to restore decayed teeth that are not extensively damaged.

Contact us today at Lexington Dental Group for excellent tooth restoration options and procedures.

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