Inlays and Onlays
Tooth decay eats away at your tooth’s enamel, leaving it with a gaping hole and the risk of infection and sensitivity. Sometimes regular fillings are not the answer as cannot provide enough protection for large areas of decay. At McDonald DDS, we offer patients with excessive decay inlays and onlays, which are a form of restorative dentistry to help repair your natural tooth after excessive decay.
An Alternative to Dental Crowns
Many patients assume they will need a dental crown if they have excessive decay. Inlays and onlays offer a less invasive solution, ensuring that you have full function of your natural tooth still. Dental inlays and onlays are similar to a dental filling. You get a little anesthetic to numb the area and protect it. We remove the decay and replace it with an inlay or onlay, depending on the amount of decay.
The Difference Between Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are made from the same material, and the difference is in how they are placed. Inlays and onlays both look like your natural tooth, making it impossible for others to see that you had dental restorations, which many patients prefer over silver or amalgam fillings, which are much more obvious.
Inlays, as the name suggests, lay in the cusp of your tooth. After our dentists remove the decay, we replace it with ceramic or porcelain, based on what you chose. We place it within the cusp of the tooth – it does not go over it. The material bonds with the tooth, giving it the strength it needs after losing a large portion of the enamel to tooth decay.
Onlays are also made from ceramic or porcelain, but they go over the cusp of the tooth. We use onlays most often in posterior teeth with excessive decay. Onlays are an effective alternative to dental crowns, allowing you to keep your natural tooth intact, which helps keep your tooth strong.
Choosing Inlays and Onlays
We offer inlays and onlays as options for patients with excessive decay, as well as those with old silver fillings. Amalgam fillings do not last forever, especially when they undergo a lot of stress. Removing a silver filling and replacing it with another silver filling can make the tooth even weaker. Eventually, you may need a crown to cover the tooth.
If you choose an inlay or onlay, depending on the depth of the issue, you can restore the strength to the tooth and avoid the need for a dental crown. Inlays and onlays last for many years as long as you properly care for them, which means regular oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing twice a day and avoiding excessively hard or sticky foods.
Our dentists are experts in helping you decide the best way to restore your natural teeth. We do whatever we can to help you keep your natural teeth rather than having to resort to extraction and a fake tooth. Call McDonald DDS at (469) 649-0699 today for your appointment to start your tooth restoration process.