Inlays are used as an alternative to fillings. They are intended to fix minor to moderate damage inside the tooth. Your dentist in Salem, MA may recommend an inlay when there is too much damage for a filling but not enough for a crown. Initially, inlays were made of gold. However, these days they are fabricated from porcelain or composite resin material. Unlike fillings, inlays are bonded to the tooth, thereby making them a stronger dental restoration. With the advances in 3D imaging, dental impressions no longer need to be made. Inlays restore the tooth to its natural form while keeping most of the tooth intact. However, inlays are also more expensive than traditional fillings. But, with that cost comes a more reliable restoration with less chance of recurring decay.
Like inlays, dental onlays also fit inside your tooth. The difference is that onlays also cover the chewing surface. The onlay preserves the tooth structure. They are also fabricated with porcelain and composite material.
Two office visits are required to complete both procedures. Either a 3D scan or putty impression will be taken at the first appointment. Temporary fillings will be placed in your mouth until your next visit to protect the affected tooth from further damage. On the second visit, cementation takes place. Inlays and onlays are placed in the mouth using resin made of adhesives. This increases the strength of the tooth by up to 75 percent. It also makes it very durable with them lasting an average of 30 years.
If you have ever gotten a crown, an inlay or onlay is a very similar experience. The main difference is less of your tooth needs to be drilled or reshaped. As dental professionals, it is our goal to save as much of your original tooth as possible. The inlay and onlay process allows us to meet this goal.
Once your tooth is repaired, the new restoration will serve you well with good oral hygiene practices and a proper diet. Please call Mass Bay Dental today to learn more or to schedule an appointment at our Salem, MA dental office.