There are many different types of treatments for repairing your teeth – with things like fillings, crown and bridges being common options. In most cases, fillings are used for cases involving minor damage or decay, while crowns and other dental fixtures are used for more severe situations.
For moderate tooth restoration – cases where a filling is not enough, but a crown is too much – dental inlays and onlays can be a good alternative.
These treatments are used to repair or replace the chewing surface of the tooth and are typically made from materials that match the colour of the tooth – like composite resin or porcelain – so that they blend in well with the rest of your smile. They can also be made from gold.
Dental inlays and onlays are both used to provide a restorative treatment for teeth that have decayed or suffered damage. However, while their names may sound similar, dental inlays and onlays are actually very different things.
Inlays are generally smaller and are used to fill in gaps between the cusps of your teeth – simply put, they are an alternative to a large filling. Meanwhile, onlays are larger pieces that can cover one or more cusps. They are sometimes also known as partial crowns.
When it comes to deciding whether a dental onlay or inlay is right for your situation, your dentist is the best person to make the choice. They will consider a variety of factors, including the extent of the damage and the amount of restoration required and make a recommendation based on their findings.
Having an inlay or onlay placed will typically require multiple visits to the dentist. This is because a segment of tooth will need to be drilled away, and then an impression of the tooth will be taken. The impression is sent to an external lab, where the inlay or onlay will be created. The manufacturing process usually takes a couple of weeks and you’ll have a temporary filling placed while you’re waiting.
It’s likely that you’ll experience some level of soreness or sensitivity after the drilling has been completed, and it will be important to avoid biting or chewing on any hard or sticky substances while you have the temporary piece.
The procedure for placing the permanent onlay or inlay is quick and simple. Your dentist will first remove the temporary filling and then cement the inlay or onlay in place using a special resin. Finally, the dentist will check your bite and may make small adjustments to the shape of the inlay or onlay using the drill or polishing equipment.
As experts in a variety of restorative and cosmetic dentistry treatments, the team at Museum Dental Suites can provide advice and guidance on the use of dental inlays and onlays.
Whether you think you might be in need of restorative dental treatments, or simply want to have your teeth looked after by qualified experts in a comfortable and relaxing setting, contact us today on 0207 036 1999. Appointments are available seven days a week at our suites in Bloomsbury.