Inlays & OnlaysReplace your old metal fillings and restore the appearance and strength of your teeth with an inlays and onlays treatment at Dr. Clint Newman's Nashville cosmetic dentistry practice. Inlays and onlays are a filling method that can be used as a less intrusive alternative to full coverage dental crowns.
What Are Inlays & Onlays?Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that improve the look and strength of damaged teeth. They can be used to treat tooth decay or to repair fractures. Inlays and onlays can be made of gold but are more often made of tooth-colored materials like porcelain or composite resin. Porcelain and composite resin offers the most natural looking results, as they can be colored to match the shade of your own tooth. Though inlays and onlays are similar, there are a few differences.
Inlays:Inlays are intended to treat tooth decay within the cusps. The cusps are the bumps that form the biting surface of the teeth and aid in chewing.
Onlays:Onlays are designed to treat tooth decay that extends to one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns since they can be used to repair cracks. For our patients in Nashville, dental crowns may be more suitable when the damage is too extensive for an onlay to repair.
What Is The Treatment Like?Getting an inlay or onlay typically involves two visits to our office. During the first visit, an impression of the tooth must be made and any decay or old fillings removed. The impression is sent to a dental lab for the inlay or onlay to be custom made. When the inlay or onlay is ready, a second visit will be required to fit the inlay or onlay and cement it into place. The inlay or onlay is then polished, thus, completing the procedure.
What Are Some of the Benefits of Inlays & Onlays?Inlays and onlays can restore both the beauty and strength of your teeth. They have many benefits over traditional metal fillings. Here are just a few of the many benefits inlay and onlay treatment can provide you.
- Aesthetics: Traditional metal fillings can be unsightly. With porcelain or composite resin inlays and onlays, dental fillings blend seamlessly with the surrounding tooth. These materials can be customized to match any shade of tooth.
- Won't discolor your teeth: Silver amalgam fillings can turn teeth a grayish tint over time. Porcelain and composite resin are tooth-colored and will not change the color of your teeth.
- Increase the strength of your teeth: Porcelain and composite resin inlays and onlays require less tooth to be removed than traditional metal fillings. The bonding process used to adhere the inlay or onlay also adds strength to the tooth's structure.
- Long lasting: Porcelain and composite resin inlays and onlays are very durable and last longer than traditional silver amalgam fillings.
- Won't expand or contract: Teeth with silver amalgam fillings are prone to cracking. One of the reasons for this cracking is the tendency of silver amalgam to expand and contract when in contact with hot and cold foods and beverages. This is not a problem with porcelain and composite resin.