Inlays and Onlays
When you think of the word “inlays”, what word comes to mind? When we think of inlays, we think of something precious, such as inlaid gold. While our inlays aren’t precious, they are important for teeth. In fact, inlays for teeth can be lifesaving. Inlays can help us save your tooth. If you don’t know what we are talking about with regard to inlays, let Dynamic Dental Care give you more information about inlays and onlays, which are another way that we can work to save your tooth.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays can both be used to cover a hole in one of your molar teeth. Usually, cavities that are in your molar teeth are larger than those on your other teeth, because they are more difficult to spot. In general, cavities can happen on the side of your tooth, or close to the gumline. However, because of the shape of molars, sometimes cavities are more difficult to spot. By the time we spot a cavity, you may have a large cavity on your molar. Often, they can appear on the biting surface. If you get a small cavity on the surface of your molar, it is easily fixed. If we don’t catch it early, the cavity may grow too large for a traditional filling.
A lot of people have trouble with cavities on their molars, especially because molars may be difficult to reach with brushing and flossing. Because molars represent the biting surface for much of your eating, if you get a large cavity there, it is important to get it filled with strong material that can handle a lot of biting and crushing. That’s where inlays and onlays come in.
How Do Inlays and Onlays Work?
When we find a cavity, we have to drill the cavity out and remove it. Most cavities are filled with composite material, which can fill the hole left by the cavity and seal the tooth to protect it. However, large cavities on the molars need something else to make sure the tooth stays strong and healthy.
Inlays and onlays can be made of composite material or porcelain. Most people prefer to use porcelain because it lasts longer, is stronger than composite and looks like your natural tooth. Inlays and onlays are separate pieces that are cemented to your tooth’s biting surface. We use an inlay when the cavity is on the biting surface of your tooth, but it is not on the cusp. We have to use an onlay when the cavity is on the cusp of the molar as well as the biting surface. To do an inlay or an onlay, we take an impression of your tooth and craft an inlay or an onlay from the mold. We can then cement the inlay or onlay to the surface of your tooth.
Do you have questions? Do you want to know more about inlays and onlays? We would love to give you more information on how inlays and onlays can help you bite down on your food without pain. Give Dynamic Dental Care a call at (509) 466-2587.