Tooth-colored restorative dentistry treatments are a great way to treat dental damage and restore dental look and function. Inlays and onlays are just one of many treatments that can be used to improve dental appearance and health. In this overview from the Boston Prosthodontics Dental Group, we will focus on ceramic inlays and onlays treatment for restoring dental appearance.
What Are Ceramic Inlays and Onlays?
Ceramic inlays and onlays are dental restorations used to treat dental damage, including decay and partially broken teeth. Ceramic is used since it can be custom-shaded to match the surrounding teeth, in addition to closely mimicking the qualities of natural teeth. Each inlay and onlay restoration is custom-made from impressions taken of the damaged tooth. Though inlays and onlays share similarities, they differ in the following ways.
- Inlays: Inlays are used to treat dental decay, or replace old metal fillings, when the damage is isolated within the cusps of the molars.
- Onlays: Onlays are used to treat more extensive dental decay than inlays. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns since they are used to treat damage that extends beyond multiple cusps.
The Treatment Process for Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays treatment typically requires two dental visits to complete. The first visit is used to prepare the damaged tooth. The tooth is cleaned, decay and debris are removed, and impressions are taken. The dental impressions are then sent to a lab where each inlay and onlay is custom-made. Once the inlay or onlay is finished, a second dental appointment will be required to place the restoration and complete the treatment.
The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays Treatment
Inlays and onlays treatment offers many benefits to oral health and appearance. Some of the benefits of inlays and onlays include:
- Improved dental health: Inlays and onlays treatment improves oral health by treating dental decay.
- Replace old metal fillings: Unsightly, old metal fillings can be replaced with tooth-colored inlays and onlays to improve the appearance of the teeth.
- Restore dental appearance: Whether used to replace old metal fillings or to repair untreated dental damage, inlays and onlays can restore the overall appearance of injured teeth.
- Better for oral health than silver fillings: Silver fillings can actually cause damage to the teeth. Silver fillings are prone to expanding and contracting when exposed to food and drink temperature fluctuations. This expanding and contracting can cause the teeth to crack. Replacing old metal fillings with ceramic inlays and onlays can help protect the teeth from cracking.
- Prevent further damage: Untreated decay or broken teeth will lead to further damage, including tooth loss. Treating damaged teeth with inlays and onlays can help prevent further damage and restore dental function.
- Improved confidence: Inlays and onlays treatment can help improve confidence by restoring your smile to a beautifully flawless appearance.
Schedule a Consultation
Inlays and onlays treatment is suitable for many patients. To find out if it's right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation today!