Inlays & Onlays
While most people have heard of fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays are one of the lesser known restorative dentistry options. Though they may not be quite as well known, inlays and onlays are a powerful option that bridges the gap between minor fillings and more extensive crowns. HomeTown Dental at Belknap offers inlays and onlays as part of our commitment to bringing you the widest array of choices for your oral health needs.
What Are Inlays & Onlays?
Also referred to as partial crowns, inlays and onlays are used to repair specific types of relatively minor damage and restore the appearance and function of the affected teeth. While an inlay only goes on top of a tooth, an onlay extends over the sides, or “cusps,” of a tooth without covering the entire exterior like a crown would. Both restorations are usually more durable and longer-lasting than dental fillings, and more affordable than crowns. Plus, we design them to perfectly match the rest of your natural teeth in size, shape, and color, so that no one can ever tell.
Both inlays and onlays are typically made from ceramic, gold, or composite resin. Ceramic, made from porcelain, is the most expensive option and is not as sturdy as gold, but it looks the most like natural teeth and is very resistant to stains. Gold is extremely strong and affordable, but also the most noticeable. Composite resin is the least durable and least resistant to discoloration, but more affordable than porcelain and less noticeable than gold.
Are Inlays & Onlays Right For You?
How do you know when you should get an inlay or onlay instead of a crown or filling? Sometimes a cavity or other damage is too extensive for a filling, which would unnecessarily weaken what remains of the tooth. Crowns are only needed for more extensive damage and can entail filing down the structure of the natural tooth, which we prefer to avoid doing whenever possible. Fillings can also expand over time, which means you have to come back in and get the filling done all over again. With an inlay or onlay you can avoid this headache. If well-maintained, inlays and onlays can last up to three decades! Inlays and onlays are the ideal choice for patients looking for a cost-effective, long-term solution.
What You Can Expect During the Procedure
Receiving an inlay or onlay takes multiple visits to our office. First, we will have to do a full examination and perform any necessary repairs of the damaged tooth. We will also make a mold of the tooth, which we will use to build the custom-fitted inlay or onlay and place a temporary filling to protect the tooth. Once the manufacturing process is complete, we will invite you back to place, bond, and polish the inlay or onlay.
Stop Waiting Around, Call Today!
With so many different restorative options to choose from, why wait to rejuvenate your smile? Give HomeTown Dental at Belknap a call today at 682-204-5735 and discover how fast and easy it can be to regain your confidence!