Tooth Repairs and Filling Replacement
Dental onlays & inlays offer options for tooth reconstruction without invasive procedures. Whether you need an old filling removed or require more extensive restoration of one or more teeth, Dr. Richer and Dr. Rivera deliver compassionate and skilled dental care to fulfill all your oral health needs. Visit R+R Dental in Hicksville, NY or call to schedule a consultation to remedy old or broken fillings.
What’s the Difference Between Onlays & Inlays?
When you have a damaged or painful tooth, your first thought might be that you need a filling. However, not all fillings serve the same purpose. Depending on the severity of your cavity or your need for removal of an existing filling, your dentist may suggest an onlay or inlay to remedy your tooth’s condition.
Both methods refer to new fillings that replace old or damaged ones. The process for both is similar, but the severity of the existing cavity and the state of the current filling will dictate whether you require an onlay or inlay.
An onlay is an extensive tooth repair that is essentially one step below a crown. This repair restores teeth that are severely damaged, such as teeth which have cuspal fractures. The term onlay refers to covering missing cusps of the teeth, and this preserves the structure of the remaining parts of the tooth.
An inlay restoration performed on teeth that have severe day or fractures prevents teeth from continuing to decay. Compared to direct restoration with amalgam or composites, an inlay is the less invasive option. This method applies to the inner parts of the tooth, within the cusp tips, while an onlay expands farther out over the tooth.
These two approaches are more extensive than traditional fillings but also serve to strengthen your existing teeth more than a filling alone. This is because the methods and materials used in onlay and inlay application are uniquely suited to tooth restoration due to their properties of strength and longevity. Care is taken to bond the materials appropriately, as well as ensure that they do not have rough edges or gaps.
How Does the Process Work?
Both onlays & inlays require multiple visits to the dental office. The first visit removes any existing fillings and currently decayed tooth material. After cleaning the area, Dr. Michael Richer or Dr. Nadia Rivera will create impressions of your teeth. These impressions are used to fabricate the onlay or inlay.
In between appointments for filling removal and installation of the restorative fabrication, your tooth will receive temporary sealant which protects the exposed areas. At your next visit, before application of the onlay or inlay, removal of the sealant is required.
The fabricated onlay or inlay fits into the open space in your tooth, smoothing and polishing lend long-lasting comfort and protection. These new formations not only stop existing decay, but they also prevent future cavities with secure bonds to the tooth surface.
Onlays & inlays prolong the life of your existing teeth and prevent the need for more extensive dental work later. Undergoing treatment for application of an onlay or inlay may help you avoid needing crowns or bridges in the future. It might also help you avoid pain and complications due to unresolved cavities.
What Results Can I Expect?
Gold is traditionally the material of choice for these applications, due to its longevity. However, advances in technology now offer porcelain alternatives that are cost effective and just as durable as gold. Other options include particular types of ceramic material and composite resins. Advanced materials allow dental professionals to match the onlay or inlay to your existing tooth’s color, offering more natural tooth color than typical gold materials.
Dental laboratories custom design each piece to suit the patient’s individual needs, so regardless of the material used in your onlay or inlay, it will precisely fit your tooth. Digital imaging and realistic impression materials help to form the onlays & inlays.
Overall, this treatment should last anywhere from ten to 30 years, potentially adding decades to the useful life of damaged teeth. In comparison, consider the useful life of a standard filling. Regular composite fillings should last between eight and ten years, although it’s possible for them to fail sooner than that, or last even longer.
Regardless of your need for either an extensive onlay or minor inlay tooth repair, R+R Dental has the experience and expertise to relieve your pain. Restore your teeth in the fastest and most comfortable way possible with comprehensive oral health care from R+R Dental.