The Patient’s Guide to Inlays and Onlays

Many people have heard of fillings and crowns, but not everyone has heard of dental inlays near Park Ridge. Dental inlays and onlays are part of cosmetic dentistry procedures that seek to restore as much of the natural tooth as possible. If you are a candidate, an inlay or onlay is a superior alternative to dental crowns and fillings. Continue reading for a short guide to cosmetic dentistry procedures known as dental inlays and onlays.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are a kind of dental restoration similar to a dental filling, though they can take the place of dental crowns depending on your cosmetic dentist’s recommendation. Instead of traditional metal fillings or an invasive crown, inlays and onlays offer a strong and long-lasting tooth restoration that will blend in to your natural teeth. The two different terms refer to the restoration’s placement on the tooth. An inlay is placed in the center of the tooth. Onlays are a more extensive restoration that will cover one or more of the cusps, or points, on a tooth surface.

Why not a crown or filling?

The decision to use an inlay or onlay, filling, or crown is between you and your dentist, and will often be dependent on the extent of the tooth decay and damage. Possible reasons why you might prefer an inlay or onlay to a filling or crown are that inlays and onlays are more aesthetically pleasing, the natural tooth may be better preserved, and previous dental fillings can be replaced with an inlay or onlay.

What is involved in the procedure?

The procedure is usually conducted over two visits: the initial consultation and mold impression, and the final fitting. On your first visit, your dentist will clean out the cavity or infection and take a mold of the affected tooth to send to a dental lab. A temporary restoration will be placed on the tooth until the next appointment. After the inlay or onlay has been created, you will return for the official placement. The restoration should be well-bonded to the tooth and polished.

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