There’s no doubt that our teeth are robust. Unfortunately, even this hard part of our body is susceptible to wear and tear. With enough exposure, they can even crack or break.
If you are dealing with a damaged tooth, you should take action immediately. Contact us today to see if our inlay and onlay dental bonding services are for you.
Types of Dental Bonding
When you have a damaged tooth, dental bonding is usually the answer. The process usually involves permanently attaching dental materials to your teeth to address the damage.
The question is, what type of bonding is best for your situation?
Direct Composite Bonding
There are two main types of bonding, the first being direct composite. It typically involves filling cavities or fixing minor cracks and chips.
Inlays and Onlays
As we mentioned above, inlays and onlays fall into the second category of bonding.
According to Colgate, both inlays and onlays prevent further decay. They also restore normal function and strength to your teeth.
They are usually made of porcelain because this material most closely resembles a tooth’s natural color. However, they can also be made of gold or composite resin.
When Dentists Use Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays tend to act as a middle ground between fillings and crowns. They work best when the damage is too severe for fillings and too mild for crowns.
The Difference Between Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays provide the same function and consist of the same materials. The biggest difference is where they are located.
Location of Inlays
The pointed parts of your molars and premolars are called “cusps.” Inlays restore your teeth and provide strength by sitting between the cusps.
Location of Onlays
Onlays extend to the cusps, restoring your biting surface.
Pros of Inlays and Onlays
Getting inlays and/or onlays will, of course, restore a damaged tooth. This will make it easier to chew and eat with confidence.
You’ll also be addressing the problem before the tooth experiences even more damage. By getting an inlay/onlay for a minor crack, you may be preventing severe breakage in the future.
Inlays and onlays won’t just benefit the damaged tooth; they can prevent your other healthy teeth from becoming damaged.
When you have a damaged tooth, you tend to adjust how you chew and eat. This can put excessive strain on your teeth, putting them at risk of also being damaged.
By addressing a damaged tooth early on, you can save yourself from additional treatments down the line.
So what does it look like to receive an inlay/onlay?
Our dentists may notice the need for an inlay/onlay during a regular checkup. They may also suggest the procedure after following through on your symptoms of discomfort or pain.
The First Appointment
Once we establish the need for an inlay/onlay, we will book your first appointment. Expect to be in the office for about an hour.
This is where we further examine your teeth and prepare them for the procedure. Our team will perform cleaning to remove as much damage and decay as possible.
We then take impressions and send them off to the lab. Technicians use the impressions to make a fitted inlay/onlay. It depends on how busy it is, but the lab will usually take a few days to finalize the impressions.
Finally, we place a temporary cover on your teeth for protection.
The Second Appointment
Like with the first appointment, the second appointment will take about an hour. We will remove the temporary cover and put the permanent restoration in place.
Our team will likely make minor adjustments to ensure the fit is perfect. If the inlay/onlay doesn’t fit properly, it can cause even more damage to your tooth.
Finally, we polish the restoration to make sure it matches your natural tooth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Read on to quell some of your worries about this procedure.
How long do inlays/onlays last?
This will depend on what material your dentist used. Porcelain is ideal because it usually lasts around 12 years. It’s also the preferred choice because it matches the natural tooth color.
According to the American Dental Association, gold can remain intact for several decades. Composite resin usually only lasts for a few years (it also stains reasonably easily).
Does the procedure hurt?
You won’t feel pain during the procedure. You’ll have to get used to having a new surface in your mouth, and the tissue may be inflamed a few days after the procedure. Call your dentist if you feel any significant pain.
Is this procedure right for me?
Significant damage (like a cracked tooth) calls for a more specialized procedure, such as an extraction.
However, inlays/onlays are right for many patients. Contact us here at Hamptons Dental today to see if the procedure is correct for you!