Inlays and Onlays: The Restorative Procedure

Inlays/Onlays Restorative Procedure - New York, NY

Jul 10, 2017 — by Ernest Robertson D.D.S.
Tags: Inlays Onlays Restorative Dentistry

Inlays and onlaysAt the Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry, we offer a number of solutions that improve the look of your smile as well as your overall dental health. This focus on advanced cosmetic dentistry and effective restorative dentistry helps our patients smile with greater confidence.

For major issues with tooth decay or tooth fractures, inlays and onlays tend to be an ideal solution. Let's take a moment to go over the basics of inlays/onlays and the process by which a dentist places them.

About Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are more substantial dental restorations that are used to address major tooth decay and fractures in patients. Inlays and onlays function much like traditional dental fillings, though they are larger and able to rebuild more of a tooth's compromised structure.

Ideal Candidates for Inlays and Onlays

Good candidates for inlays and onlays are people who have suffered from serious tooth decay, chips, cracks, or breaks. In these cases, a simple dental filling will not be enough to restore the damaged tooth. Patients should have lots of healthy tooth structure remaining to support the inlay or onlay. In severe cases of damage or decay, a dental crown may be recommended instead.

Placing Inlays and Onlays

Placing inlays and onlays is more involved than placing a dental filling. A dentist must first prep a tooth, removing compromised tooth structure. An impression is then taken of the prepped tooth. This impression is sent to a dental lab, where technicians craft a custom restoration using the information provided. Once the inlay or onlay is completed, it is sent back to the dental practice for the dentist to cement it into place.

What Material Will Be Used for My Inlays/Onlays?

Inlays and onlays may be crafted from either metal or ceramic/tooth-colored materials. Both the metal and tooth-colored materials are durable, though the metal restorations tend to be stronger while the ceramic materials closely resemble the natural teeth.

In most cases, metal inlays and onlays are recommended when molars are being treated, while tooth-colored inlays and onlays are more ideal for the front teeth. During a consultation with a dentist, you can find out what kinds of restorations would be most ideal for your situation.

How Long Do Inlays and Onlays Last?

The lifespan of and inlay or onlay can vary a great deal depending a number of factors. In most cases, the average inlay/onlay lasts for about 10 to 15 years. This assumes patients practice good oral hygiene and visit their dentist regularly.

After a while, inlays or onlays will need to be replaced. This is natural and part of the restorative dentistry process. As inlays and onlays get more worn down, your dentist can recommend replacement.

Replacing Inlays and Onlays

The process for replacing inlays and onlays is similar to the initial placement of the restoration. The old inlay/onlay will be removed, and any compromise tooth structure will be removed as well. New impressions are taken to create a new inlay/onlay.

In some cases, a dentist may recommend that a patient get a dental crown to replace an old inlay/onlay. If this is necessary, the dental crown process can be discussed during a visit with your dentist.

Contact Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry

For more information about inlays and onlays and how they can help, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dental care center today. The team at Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry will work closely with you to enhance your overall dental health and wellness.

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