Decayed, cracked, or fractured teeth will require dental restoration. While a simple filling may be sufficient to restore a tooth that has minor decay, a crown may be required to treat a fractured or more deeply damaged tooth. Inlays and onlays are a restoration alternative when the damage has not progressed to the point of needing a crown. If you have a tooth in need of restoration, our Santa Clarita dentists at A New Smile Dental Group can determine if an inlay or onlay is the appropriate treatment method for you.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, are similar to fillings, except they are composed of porcelain (the same as a crown), or composite resin, or gold. While fillings are molded into place on the tooth during a dental treatment, inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental lab. Your dentist will take an impression or mold of your tooth, which the lab will use to custom-make your inlay or onlay. In a second office visit, your dentist will fit and bond the inlay or onlay to your damaged tooth.
Inlays are used to treat damage or decay within the cusps – the bumpy structures on the biting surface of the tooth. Onlays are used on teeth with more extensive damage that extends to the cusps.
These alternative tooth restoration methods can be used in place of traditional fillings, to replace old fillings, or to restore teeth that are too damaged for a filling to resolve, but not damaged severely enough to require a crown. Inlays and onlays have cosmetic benefits, and they can help strengthen a tooth by up to 75%.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Depending on the nature and extent of the damage, inlays or onlays could be the best tooth restoration alternative for many issues. They provide several benefits, including:
- Durability: Inlays and onlays are composed of materials that can last up to 30 years.
- Tooth structure: A great deal more of the healthy tooth structure can be preserved with inlays and onlays than with crowns.
- Tooth strength and life: Inlays and onlays can significantly strengthen a tooth, prolong the life of the tooth, and help prevent the need for future dental treatment.
- Cosmetic benefits: Materials can be matched to surrounding teeth and are not likely to discolor over time.
- Easy cleaning: The tailored fit and minimal preparation of inlays and onlays can make restored teeth easier to clean.
Exceptional Dental Care in Santa Clarita
At A New Smile Dental Group, our compassionate dentists and team provide exceptional care using advanced dental technology and comfort dentistry, including sedation options. We provide emergency care after hours and on weekends and offer payment and financing options to our patients.
We are dedicated to exceeding your expectations and caring for your oral health needs. If one or more of your teeth needs restoration, our Santa Clarita dentist can tell you if inlays and onlays are your best treatment option. Contact our office to request an appointment.