A dental inlay or onlay is a tooth colored filling that covers more surface area of a tooth than a standard filling. Crafted from porcelain or composite resin, these restorations revive a tooth by improving its strength and structure for better function. It also provides protection against additional decay. Because they are colored to match natural tooth shade, they are a very effective way to enhance the appearance of a tooth as well.
St. Joseph cosmetic dentist Dr. Sven Erickson suggests porcelain inlay or onlay restorations when a dental filling is inadequate, but a more invasive restoration like a dental crown seems excessive. Inlays and onlays are typically recommended when there is a large cavity or a tooth has been damaged in a fall, sports injury, or other type of injury. If you have large fillings that are no longer serving your tooth because they have broken down or suffered too much wear, an inlay or onlay can restore full tooth strength. Porcelain inlays and onlays are also used to replace outdated metal fillings for a more natural look.
The main difference between a porcelain inlay and onlay involves the area covered by the restoration. Porcelain inlays lie entirely within the cusps on the chewing surface of your tooth, while onlays cover one or more of the cusps. Dr. Erickson will recommend the appropriate restoration based on the extensiveness of the damage in your tooth.
Restoring a tooth with a dental inlay or onlay can allow you to regain the full biting strength and overcome any eating or speech problems that resulted from the tooth problem.
Completion of a new dental inlay or onlay typically takes our team two appointments. During your first visit, Dr. Erickson will take digital impressions of the region to be treated. These impressions are sent to our lab and used to craft your new inlay or onlay. In the meantime, a temporary inlay or onlay is created to protect your tooth while your new restoration is being made.
Dr. Erickson removes any damaged or diseased tooth structure. After the tooth is cleaned, it is prepared using a gentle tool. Then, the temporary inlay or onlay is adhered to the tooth.
When you return to our office for your final visit, Dr. Erickson will check to see that the new restoration fits into your bite correctly. Any adjustments are made and your inlay or onlay is bonded in its place. At this time, we will instruct you on proper care of your restoration.
Please contact our St. Joseph cosmetic dentist today to schedule your appointment at Modern Dentistry Associates, serving patients in Southwest Michigan, St. Joseph and Kalamazoo, Michigan and Elkhart, Indiana.