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Crowns Vs. Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are types of dental implants that are useful for fixing teeth that otherwise would have had to go through the full dental crown procedure. The team at Summercrest Dental can examine your teeth and determine if you are a good candidate to get an inlay or onlay, so schedule an appointment with us today to get started.
When to Use an Inlay or Onlay
Inlays and onlays are used to repair molars or premolars. They are primarily used when these teeth are too damaged to be repaired by regular cavity filling procedures, but not damaged enough to require them to undergo a full crown implantation process.
Unlike fillings, which are built up inside your tooth by the dentist, inlays and onlays are made outside the mouth and then cemented to the damaged tooth. And unlike getting a crown, which requires extensive reshaping of the tooth so the crown can be fitted, getting an inlay or onlay requires less dental drilling and preserves more of your natural tooth in the process.
Think of inlays and onlays as a great middle-ground for repairing your teeth. They can help save teeth that can no longer be fixed with simple fillings and they provide a high level of protection while being able to preserve more of your natural tooth compared to getting a crown.
The Difference and Similarities Between Inlays and Onlays
An inlay is created and used when the damage to the tooth can be fixed without extending beyond the little points on the top of your molars and premolars. An onlay is used if the damage extends beyond one or more of those little points and requires slightly more material to fill in and cover the damaged spot.
The process of getting an inlay and onlay is largely the same. Both inlays and onlays are created after the dentist examines, measures, and sometimes takes a mold of the damaged tooth. The dentist will then clean out the tooth of any bacteria and decay and will install a temporary filling that you will use until your permanent inlay or onlay comes back from being designed at the offsite laboratory.
Getting an inlay or onlay put on your tooth is rather simple. The dentist will use dental cement to bond it to your teeth and make sure that there are no rough spots after it has been placed. Just like with a filling or a crown, you will need to take good care of the inlay or onlay in the immediate days following the procedure. The dentist will go over with you any specific post-procedure instructions you may need to follow after you leave the office.
If you have been putting off getting a damaged tooth examined because you think the only solution is getting a crown, contact Summercrest Dental today. We can get you in for an examination and consultation with the dentist to determine if inlays or onlays would be right for you. Give us a call at (503) 649-7701 to schedule a visit and get started on the path to protecting your teeth from any further and more painful damage.