Conservative Tooth Repair
Small cavities can usually be repaired with a simple dental filling. However, if decay affects a larger portion of a tooth, an inlay or onlay may be recommended. Inlays and onlays can repair teeth damaged by cracks, fractures, and large cavities that dental fillings cannot fix. At our Boynton Beach, FL, dental practice, Dr. Paul Archacki takes a conservative approach in his work, placing inlays and onlays in lieu of more costly dental crowns when possible.
About Inlays and Onlays
Also referred to as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are custom restorations generally recommended when a cavity is too large for a filling, but not significant enough to warrant a dental crown. While an inlay is designed to fit between the cusps or bumps on the chewing surface of a tooth, an onlay typically includes one or more cusps.
These restorations can be crafted from an array of materials, including composite resin, porcelain, and even gold. Most of our patients prefer tooth-colored restorations that blend in with their smile for a natural-looking appearance. In most cases, these restorations can be placed in two office visits.
Understanding the Benefits
Inlays and onlays can restore damaged teeth and protect them from further trauma. By repairing a tooth with a custom restoration, you considerably reduce the risk for sensitivity and tooth loss. An inlay or onlay can also prevent the need for a dental crown, which is more invasive and costlier.
Who is a Candidate?
The most important factor in determining candidacy for inlays and onlays is the amount of healthy tooth structure available. There must be enough to properly support the restoration. Those who have sustained significant damage are usually better suited for crowns.
In addition, patients should understand the details of treatment and should have reasonable expectations of results. For example, individuals who receive inlays and onlays should be willing to practice proper oral hygiene and avoid sticky, hard, and crunchy foods as much as possible. It is also important to understand that, while inlays and onlays are built to last, they will still need to be replaced eventually.
Inlays and Onlays Treatment Process
In most cases, inlays or onlays are placed in two office visits. During your first appointment, Dr. Archacki will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and clean out any debris. Once the tooth is prepared, impressions are taken. These will be sent to a trusted dental lab, where a skilled technician will craft your restoration. This process takes about one to two weeks. In the meantime, however, a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed to protect the tooth.
An inlay or onlay can prevent the need for a dental crown, which is more invasive and costlier.
Once your restoration arrives from the lab, we will schedule a second appointment. During this visit, Dr. Archacki will remove the temporary restoration and bond the permanent inlay or onlay with high-quality dental cement. Finally, any rough edges will be smoothed and your bite will be assessed to ensure a proper fit.
Restore Dental Damage
If you have a decayed or damaged tooth, an inlay or onlay can offer more conservative treatment compared to a traditional crown. To learn more about your options, schedule a visit at our practice. You can contact us online or call us at (561) 736-1177.
“Smiles are our Business!” Dr. Archacki