Dental inlays and onlays are made of gold or tooth-colored porcelain or composite resin materials. Your dentist bonds them to damaged parts of a tooth to restore it and improve its appearance.
Inlays are similar to dental fillings and bond to the inside of the cusp tips of your tooth. Onlays are similar to inlays, but they’re more substantial and extend over one or more tooth cusps. Porcelain and composite resin inlays and onlays match the color of your natural teeth.
To find out if you’re a candidate for inlays and onlays at Albemarle Dental Associates, your dentist reviews your oral health history and symptoms. They examine your teeth and gums and take dental X-rays. If more than half of a tooth’s biting surface is damaged, your provider may recommend an inlay or onlay instead of a dental filling.
In severe cases of dental decay or damage, you may need a dental crown instead of an inlay or onlay. Crowns are like caps for teeth, covering their entire surface.
The process of getting an inlay or onlay often requires two appointments. During the first visit, your dentist removes damaged or decaying areas of your tooth and prepares it for an inlay or onlay.
They take impressions of your tooth or digitally scan it before sending the results to a dental lab, where your dental restoration gets made.
When your inlay or onlay is ready, you return to Albemarle Dental Associates. Your dentist ensures the restoration fits properly and bonds it to your tooth using strong resin materials. They then polish the tooth to a smooth finish and send you home.
After getting an inlay or onlay, you can resume a normal routine. Inlays and onlays can increase tooth strength by up to 75 percent and often last 10-30 years or longer.
Care for your teeth at home by brushing after meals, flossing daily, and not chewing on ice or other hard objects. Don’t open packages with your teeth, and wear a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth.
See the experts at Albemarle Dental Associates every six months for routine dental cleanings and exams, and call the office if your inlay or onlay gets damaged.
To learn more about inlays and onlays and find out if they’re right for you, call the Albemarle Dental Associates office or schedule an appointment online today.