You’re likely familiar with fillings. They fill the cavities in your teeth after extensive damage to the inside from decay. Dentists Jeffrey Mitchell, DDS, and David Crosby, DMD, and their team at Mitchell & Crosby Family Dentistry in Casa Grande, Arizona, often recommend inlays or onlays as a stronger, more structured alternative to fillings. If your tooth-decay damage extends to your tooth’s surface or is widespread within your tooth, call Mitchell & Crosby Family Dentistry or book a consultation online to find out more about inlays and onlays today.
Inlays and Onlays Q & A
What are onlays and inlays?
Onlays and inlays are a durable alternative cavity treatment to traditional fillings. They preserve the natural appearance of your affected teeth and are often selected in cases where the cavity is too big for a filling.
Inlays function identically to fillings, but they come as one solid piece that is shaped exactly like the inside of your tooth.
Onlays function more like sealants. They’re custom-made solid pieces that cover the biting surface of your tooth if it’s been affected by the damage from the inside. They also extend to the inner cavities of your tooth, but they’re reserved for more widespread tooth damage.
What is the procedure for getting inlays and onlays?
During your first appointment for inlays or onlays at Mitchell & Crosby Family Dentistry, your dentist numbs the area around your decayed tooth with a local anesthetic. They use a drill to clean out any remaining decay and bacteria from the inner cavity of your tooth, then take an impression of the cavity to send to the lab, where your device is made.
At your next appointment, you’ll receive your inlays or onlays from the lab. They may be made of a tooth-colored material like porcelain or composite resin or a durable metal like gold. Your dentist cements your inlay or onlay into your affected tooth and makes sure that it feels comfortable for you.
What are the benefits of onlays and inlays?
Inlays and onlays offer many benefits that are important to acknowledge them while reviewing your options. You might prefer inlays and onlays over fillings or crowns because:
- They’re more durable than fillings
- They can last for many years if you take good care of them
- Your teeth won’t feel sensitive while they’re in
- Your tooth keeps its original structure and appearance
- They don’t compromise the structure of a weakened tooth
If your dentist at Mitchell & Crosby Family Dentistry finds that inlays and onlays are appropriate for your case, they’ll help you choose the material that suits your preferences.
If you have concerns about tooth decay and want to see if you need inlays or onlays, request an appointment by phone or online at Mitchell & Crosby Family Dentistry today.