When full coverage dental crowns are unnecessary Dr. Rykiss will often recommend inlays or onlays to patients. Inlays and onlays are actually two different types of restorative solutions used to repair a tooth that has damage in the center of a tooth (inlay) or damage that requires repair beyond the center of the biting surface (onlay).
Our office uses tooth-colored inlays and onlays that provide our patients with the most natural-looking restorations possible.
What are Inlays and Onlays used to Correct?
Inlays and onlays are used to repair the back teeth that suffer from mild to moderate decay, have cracked or fractured, and are damaged but not so much that they require a crown. Generally a standard dental filling can be used to treat mild cases of the aforementioned maladies however dental inlays and onlays are used when there is too much decay or damage to the tooth structure and dictate are more appropriate restoration.
Dental inlays and onlays can also be used to replace old fillings that are either aesthetically unattractive or because the old filling has cracked, been damaged or has fallen out.
What are the Benefits of Inlays and Onlays?
When a dental filling won’t do the trick, inlays and onlays are a considered to be a much more conservative approach to tooth restoration than a dental crown. Dr. Rykiss practices “minimally invasive dentistry” meaning he will always seek to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible when restoring teeth. Full coverage crowns, although often necessary for more severe damage or decay, require shaping of the effected tooth in order to fit the crown. When possible, Dr. Rykiss will provide the option for an inlay or onlay to preserve as much healthy tooth as possible.
The other benefits of inlays and onlays are that they are not as likely to discolor as tooth-colored resin fillings because they are constructed out of porcelain. This porcelain material not only ensures a natural looking restoration but also helps to provide an extremely stable and durable repair that can last for years to come.
Standard Inlay and Onlay Procedure
Typical inlay and onlay procedures involve two or more visits to the dental office. The first visit involves preparing the damaged tooth for the inlay or onlay and then taking an impression that will be sent off to a dental lab for construction. While the permanent restoration is being made, a temporary inlay or onlay is placed to protect the tooth and to maintain aesthetics.
Once the restoration returns from the lab, the temporary is removed and the permanent inlay or onlay is placed then tested for form, fit and function before being permanently cemented in place. There is, however, an alternative to this somewhat lengthy process.
CEREC Inlays and Onlays in-a-day
Linden Market Dental Centre offers same day inlays and onlays that are made possible by CEREC computer aided design (CAD) technology. This system allows our office to take digital impressions of your teeth (no messy impressions!), send them directly to our CEREC milling machine, and place them in one simple, convenient appointment. CEREC uses porcelain material because it closely resembles the luster and sheen of natural teeth but also because of the excellent functional longevity and durability of the material.
If you have damaged or fractured teeth and think you may need inlays or onlays, schedule a consultation with Dr. Rykiss today to explore your restoration needs and we’ll have you smiling again in no time.