Inlays and Onlays in Joppa, MD
Despite our best efforts to avoid it, most of us experience some degree of dental decay during our lifetime. Decay occurs when bacteria that is found inside our mouths interacts with the sugars in the food we eat, causing acidic plaque to form. If this isn’t cleaned away regularly and properly, the acid can erode the enamel of the teeth, causing areas of decay. Left untreated, the decay can penetrate to the innermost layers of the teeth where they cause serve dental pain, infection and eventually, tooth loss. These areas of dental decay are known as cavities.
If you have an extensive cavity that is too large for a conventional filling, you may be recommended to have an alternative restorative solution. Inlays and onlays use the same basic principle of regular fillings but can be used to cover teeth that are much more extensively affected by decay or damage.
We can offer inlays and onlays to patients affected by decay, and these procedures are performed at our dentistry offices in Joppa, MD.
Inlays are a type of cavity filling that is designed to cover the majority of the chewing surface of a molar or pre-molar tooth. Each inlay is designed and created specifically for each patient, rather than applied and molded on the day as is the case with conventional fillings. They can be made from porcelain or composite resin, both of which are tooth-colored and give you the ultimate discretion in your restoration.
Since they are custom designed, you should expect to make at least two visits to our offices, the first being used to remove the decay and take impressions of your tooth that will be used to create your inlay. As with regular fillings, anesthetic will be used to numb your mouth while the decay is drilled out. You will be fitted with a temporary, generic inlay while your custom version is being made. This takes around a week, after which you can return to our offices where we will remove your temporary inlay and fit your final one securely to your tooth.
Onlays are extremely similar to inlays, and the process of creating them is identical. However, an onlay not only covers the chewing surface of your molars, it will also cover the cusps of the affected teeth, which are the four points on each corner. This can reinforce the strength of these parts of the tooth, which is important for its overall structure if they have been affected by decay. Again, onlays are created from strong, durable tooth-colored materials, meaning that nobody needs to know you have had a restoration placed and it will look and feel just like a natural tooth.
Many people prefer to choose an inlay or onlay wherever possible since very little of the natural tooth needs to be removed to fit them when compared with dental crowns.
If you require restorative dental work and have further questions about inlays or onlays, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with our experienced dental team, please call our offices in Joppa, MD today.