Inlays and Onlays
Tooth decay is one of the leading reasons why people visit us at The Dentist on Boones Ferry. Dental inlays and onlays are used when your tooth is moderately damaged by decay. Since the damage is not extensive, covering it with a crown is unnecessary. Your tooth may decay due to acids made by oral bacteria. It can also be a result of microorganisms that depend on food particles in the mouth. Inlays and onlays rely on the healthy part of the tooth as the foundation. We offer onlays and inlays to reinforce your tooth and restore the natural tooth. You will also stop further damage to your tooth.
We use onlays when re-establishing the biting surface of a tooth. These indirect dental fillings cover the cusps of the tooth, which are the raised points. Unlike dental crowns, onlays replace less of your healthy tooth. Our specialists may recommend an onlay when the cusp of your tooth is damaged. Onlays are also ideal when the structure of the tooth is too weak to sustain a regular filling.
Our dental inlays are indirectly fabricated to restore either decayed or chipped teeth. We glue the inlay to the tooth to restore its regular shape. Inlays also help return your proper contact between the damaged tooth and nearby teeth. We can make inlays from materials like gold, resin, or ceramic.
The placement process starts by numbing the damaged tooth and the surrounding area. Then our dentists will remove the decayed material from the tooth. We use a rubber dam to ensure that you do not accidentally swallow the removed decay. We also use caries detection dye that highlights all areas affected by decay. The dye ensures that we remove all decay without cutting out your healthy tooth. Once the cavity is hollowed out, we will take an impression or model of your tooth by having you bite down on a mold. If your cavity is very deep, we medicate the pulp of the tooth, which is usually very sensitive. We send the mold to our lab where our technicians work on making the final restorations. Our technicians will take about two weeks to finish the inlay or onlay.
As we wait for the final restoration, we will apply a temporary filling. The temporary filling has two functions. First, it protects your tooth from acids that could expand the cavity. If this happens, the final restoration would not fit. Secondly, it prevents sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks. We remove the temporary filling on the second appointment. We customize the final inlay or onlay and make any adjustments necessary.
Caring for My Inlays or Onlays
You should give your inlays or onlays the same care as your natural teeth. Routine care involves brushing twice a day and flossing once daily. Using an antiseptic mouthwash also helps prevent future decay. Avoid chewing on hard things like ice and gum as it can damage the restoration. If your restoration dislodges or is damaged, contact us as soon as possible.
A dental inlay or onlay might be the solution to your damaged tooth. Give us a call at (971) 377-1208 or visit our office at The Dentist on Boones Ferry to learn more about onlays and inlays.