If going to the dentist conjures up memories of old-school silver fillings, then you might be pleasantly surprised to know there are now some much better, less aluminum-looking options.
Maybe you haven’t had a sugar-induced cavity since middle school, but your teeth are still in need of some structural support. Whether that’s because they’re chipped, broken, infected, or badly damaged because of accidents or aging, you can now reclaim the health and beauty of a smile that looks perfectly natural. And did we mention this process doesn’t have to include extensive or expensive procedures? It’s time to learn about inlays and onlays.
How Inlays and Onlays are Different From Fillings
Back in the day, dentists had only one option for restoring the integrity of damaged teeth: drill into the cavity, inject a less-than-attractive material, and allow it to harden. This worked, but as you know, it left patients with a mouth full of silver that did little to actually improve the health of the tooth.
Thanks to advances in the field, we now have the option of improving smiles with inlays and onlays. Made of porcelain, not outdated silver amalgam, these “indirect fillings” are created in an outside lab to perfectly match the contours of your teeth and actually strengthen them. They’re the ideal solution if your dental situation doesn’t quite call for a crown, but could use some reinforcement. And unlike traditional fillings, inlays and onlines are actually bonded to the surface of your tooth and are made to last – even up to 30 years!
Inlays vs. Onlays
Inlays are designed to repair the surface of your tooth that’s used for chewing. They’re less expensive than a crown, and can be a great solution if you just need some reinforcement up top. The material lies just within the bumps on your tooth’s surface.
Onlays are a little more extensive, and are sometimes called “partial crowns.” That’s because they cover more of your biting surface.
Because it takes time to perfect the materials so they absolutely match your teeth, inlays and onlays require at least two office visits. Once we remove any decay or old fillings at your first appointment, we take an impression of your tooth to record the size and shape. Then we send this to the lab and send you home with a temporary filling until the material is ready. On your second visit, we’ll take out the temp and permanently cement your brand new, beautiful inlay or onlay into place.
Ready to bring your teeth into the 21st century? Call us today to book an appointment!