The conventional amalgam fillings comprise 50-60 percent mercury, and it has been associated with several significant health concerns in the last few years. These fillings do not bond with teeth and require a considerable amount of healthy structure of a tooth to be removed to create a pocket to accommodate the filling. Since the filling is placed directly inside the pocket, it does not offer additional support for the tooth and bacteria, as well as food particles can collect in the pocket to cause more problems. An alternative restoration that many a Cosmetic Dentist offers their patients is dental inlays and Onlays.
What are Dental inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are bonded over the damaged part of a tooth, similar to a standard dental filling. However, this is the only way that it is similar to a filling. Rather than being made in the patient’s mouth, inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory based on impressions of the patient’s teeth. Since inlays and onlays are bonded to the damaged tooth, the need to remove healthy tooth structure is not present. As a result of this, the damaged tooth will be strengthened and its structure will be preserved.
What is the Difference Between Inlays and Onlays?
The process of placing Dental inlays and onlays is virtually identical. The main difference between these restorations is the size of the area of treatment. Normally, cosmetic dentists use inlays to treat cavities as well as areas of the tooth with minor damage. On the other hand, onlays are used to cover the surface of a tooth and are mostly used when the cusp of the tooth is damaged, or if the walls of the tooth are compromised.
Briefly, dental inlays and onlays are an alternative restoration that many a cosmetic dentist offers for amalgam fillings. These restorations are conservative and an aesthetically pleasing option.
FAQs about Dental Inlays and Onlays
What Are Indirect Fillings?
Inlays and onlays from a best dentist may also be referred to as indirect fillings. Since they are made outside the mouth, they are also called indirect fillings, in contrast to direct or traditional fillings. They are custom-made in the laboratory with the help of high-strength porcelain. In the case of large cavities, inlays or onlays may be a more suitable option as they help strengthen the structure of the tooth.
Can an inlay or onlay prevent the growth of a cavity?
This will depend on the oral hygiene of the patient. Before the placement of the restoration, all diseased or damaged tooth material has to be removed. This will ensure the effective treatment of the cavity. These porcelain restorations tend to seal better than the traditional fillings. Hence, they are an effective solution for areas that are difficult to clean, such as in between two teeth. However, the risk of bacterial accumulation will not reduce and the likelihood of new cavities in the tooth behind the porcelain is prevalent. Visiting the dentist regularly, flossing, and brushing will help keep the tooth healthy and the restoration intact.
Do Dental inlays or onlays take on a dark appearance with time?
No, the aesthetics of inlays or onlays remain intact. Since they are made of dental porcelain, they are long lasting, strong, and resistant to stains. It is considered the best material for dental restorations as the manner in which it reflects light and its opalescence is similar to natural tooth enamel. With dental care and good hygiene, your smile will look natural for many years!
How do I clean teeth that have dental onlays?
It has to be cleaned in the same way as the untreated teeth. While porcelain cannot decay, the tooth that lies behind and around is prone to decay. Make sure you carefully clean the areas where the tooth and the porcelain material meet. This is because if the cavity starts in this area, it may spread to the areas behind the onlay too.