When a Filling isn’t Enough
- Posted on: Mar 15 2017
Tooth damage is a tricky subject. There is no perfect way to repair a tooth that has been damaged by physical injury, decay, or gum disease because the extent of damage varies from one instance to another. Patients of our Ardmore general and cosmetic dentistry office benefit from care that is tailored to address the full extent of their dental concerns; nothing less, and also nothing more. An example of this is the use of inlays and onlays.
Inlays and onlays are custom-made dental prosthetics that are appropriate for tooth decay or other damage that is too extensive for a standard filling. Each type of restoration fits into the prepared tooth in a way that reinstates proper form while, at the same time, protects the tooth from further damage. Because Dr. Marshall uses CEREC technology to make inlays and onlays, the repairs that are made are completely discreet, blending right in with surrounding enamel.
So Exactly What is an Inlay or Onlay?
An inlay or onlay falls between a filling and a crown on the scale of restorative care. A filling corrects small areas of decay or damage. A crown covers the entire tooth. An inlay, as well as an onlay, could be described as a partial crown. The inlay restoration is made to fit into the chewing surface of a tooth, in between all four corners, or cusps. An onlay is needed to restore damage that has extended over one or more of those cusps.
The process of repair is only slightly different for an inlay or onlay than it is for a filling or crown. After removing decayed or vulnerable tooth material, an intraoral camera is used to obtain digital impressions of the tooth. These images are processed in our in-house milling device, which draws a virtual blueprint of the tooth in software that then directs the carving process. Inlays and onlays are chiseled from a block of high quality dental ceramic and ready for placement within about an hour.
There are several benefits to this level of restorative care. Patients can have a tooth restored without unnecessary reduction to accommodate a dental crown. The bonding of an inlay or onlay achieves margins that leave no space between natural tooth material and the restoration. This means no bacteria can sneak beneath the surface and an ultra-durable repair.
Receive the dental care you need to enjoy a healthy, attractive smile. Call (610) 649-0696.
Posted in: Porcelain Dental Inlays and Onlays