Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays serve an important role in the restoration of chipped and cracked teeth. Using an inlay or onlay can help a patient avoid other procedures such as fillings. When properly cared for, these two restorative pieces can last for several years. Cicero Family Dental Care can help you learn more about these procedures to see if they are right for you.
What Do Inlays And Onlays Do?
Inlays and onlays can be used to repair cracked, chipped, or decayed teeth. Based on where the damage to the tooth is, these two procedures can be used as an alternative to a traditional filling. An inlay can be used if the damage is in between the cusps of the tooth. An onlay is used if the damage is elsewhere on the tooth and extends to the cusps of the tooth. Both inlays and onlays are custom fitted to the size of an individual’s tooth and cemented into place. Both of these are used to shore up a tooth and restore its natural function. Both are very durable and can last for several years. Since they are tightly sealed to your tooth, they should prevent further damage and decay. Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain or dental composite resin.
Who Is A Candidate For An Inlay Or An Onlay?
The patient who would be the primary candidate for an onlay would be a person who has a cavity that is too extensive to fill, but not bad enough for a crown. An onlay can cover this wide space of a tooth securely while strengthening and saving it. This is also a good option for a person whose tooth could become further damaged by a filling. Inlays are ideal for someone who has a crack in their cusp. The inlay can fit into the space in between those points and provide security and stability to the surface. Before the inlay/onlay is placed on the tooth, any decay is removed.
How Long Can Inlays And Onlays Last?
These devices have very long lifespans when taken care of properly. The average lifespan of an inlay or onlay is 20 years. Some people have their devices for even longer. To make sure you get the longest possible lifespan from your inlay/onlay, use proper oral hygiene habits. Make sure your brush twice per day, floss at least once per day, and use mouthwash.
How Are Inlays And Onlays Different From A Crown?
Inlays/onlays and crowns can fulfill similar functions. However, the amount of space they cover is where the difference lies. Inlays/onlays only cover part of the tooth. Crowns will cover the entire tooth down to the gumline. No part of the natural tooth is still visible with a crown, but it is with an inlay/onlay.
Inlays and onlays can assist in restoring a tooth and helping it be fully functional again. When maintained well, these devices can last at least 20 years. Cicero Family Dental Care can help you learn more about inlays/onlays and help you decide if they could be a treatment option for you. Call us today at (680) 688-6026 to set up an appointment to learn more.