If you’ve recently been informed that you require a dental crown, it may be worth considering a less invasive alternative. Dr. Donnelly, at 24th Street Dental Biltmore, is one of the few dental offices in the area that provides inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays are a viable solution for treating larger cavities located at the back of your mouth. This method enables you to forgo the need for traditional silver fillings and dental crowns.
What Are Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays, also referred to as indirect fillings, are custom-made restorations that match the biting surface of a tooth. They can be made from materials such as gold, porcelain, or composite resin. An inlay is used for repairing moderate damage or decay by fitting within the biting edges of a tooth. On the other hand, an onlay is employed to restore a tooth with more extensive damage that affects one or more biting edges, typically extending to the sides of the tooth.
Dr. Donnelly, at 24th Street Dental Biltmore, will evaluate whether an inlay or onlay is appropriate for restoring your back teeth. Typically, these options are recommended for individuals with significant damage or decay that cannot be effectively treated with a standard filling, but still have enough healthy structure to avoid the need for a dental crown. Additionally, inlays or onlays can be used to replace aging fillings that may be corroded or damaged.
Inlay and Onlay Procedure
Typically, the process for an inlay or onlay involves two appointments. In the first appointment, 24th Street Dental Biltmore dentist, Dr. Donnelly will discuss the most suitable restoration materials for your specific situation. Porcelain is often preferred for teeth that are visible when smiling due to its superior esthetics. However, if appearance is not a concern, a gold inlay or onlay may be beneficial.
The procedure will start with the application of local anesthesia to ensure a pain-free experience. Afterwards, we will proceed by removing any damaged or decayed tooth material in order to prepare the tooth. Once the tooth is prepared, we will take a customized impression and send it to our dental laboratory. This impression will be used to create your final restoration, commonly made with porcelain.
The fabrication process may take one to two weeks. In the meantime, we can provide you with a temporary provisional to protect your tooth. Once your restoration is ready, we can schedule your second appointment with 24th Street Dental Biltmore. During this appointment, we will remove the temporary and place the inlay or onlay. We may need to make some minor adjustments before permanently bonding the restoration to the tooth. Finally, the restoration will be polished to give it a realistic sheen.