Inlays/Onlays in Playa Del Rey

Inlays and onlays are a conservative and traditional method of restoring teeth and are also known as indirect fillings. When the biting surface of the tooth is damaged and regular fillings are not adequate, inlays and onlays are used to fill crevices or repair extensive damage.

The difference between dental fillings and inlays and onlays is that dental fillings are directly done on the spot: they are placed in the tooth during your visit to the dentist, on the other hand, inlays and onlays have to be made in a dental laboratory; these are then subsequently fitted and chemically bonded to the damaged tooth by the dentist. Hence the name: Indirect fillings. Sometimes, inlays and onlays are used in place of full dental coverage crowns. As compared to full dental coverage crowns, they are better fitting, last longer, and look better.

Difference between inlays and onlays:

When the material is bonded within the center of the tooth, it is called an inlay. If the damage is more widespread and the new structure covers the whole chewing surface including one or more tooth cusps, the procedure is called an onlay.

Benefits of using inlays and onlays:

Inlays and onlays are methods of repairing comparatively wide-ranging tooth decay or damage without really needing to replace the entire outer portion of the tooth as one would need to do with a crown. The amount of tooth material required to be removed is less, so inlays and onlays tend to be more conservative and esthetic as compared crowns.

The inlay and onlay procedures strengthen a tooth’s structure as compared to fillings where the structure may be weakened due to removing too much tooth material. Inlays and onlays are also likely to last longer than a regular filling, because the inlay or onlay material is custom made and bonded or fused to the tooth.

They offer a superior fit as compared to crowns, as the procedure tends to preserve as much of the healthy tooth as possible. This also safeguards the structure of the basic tooth and does not weaken it further and this in turn offers strength and stability to the teeth. An onlay can actually protect the weak areas of the tooth as the procedure does not require the complete reshaping of the tooth.

Esthetically, tooth color is retained offering better visual appeal, because inlays or onlays will not discolor as resin fillings usually do. Due to the fact that inlays and onlays are custom made and they fit better and do not shrink or change size during the curing process, this makes it a lot easier for you to clean or brush your teeth. Inlays seal the tooth better as compared to regular fillings and thus they keep out bacteria ensuring that there is no further decay taking place inside the tooth, under the filling.

Procedure used for Inlays and Onlays:

An inlay or onlay procedure may require two or three dental visits to complete. In the first visit, the dentist makes a mold of your teeth in your mouth. This gives the dentist a basic structure to work from. A temporary sealant is placed on your damaged tooth. The mold is then sent to the laboratory where the technician will proceed to make an inlay or outlay as advised by the dentist, depending upon the extent of damage. The material to be used for the inlay or onlay is also selected in this visit.

The material selected to make the inlay or onlay depends on many factors such as the location and visibility of the tooth- if the tooth is situated at the back of the mouth and will not be visible when you smile or speak, then gold may be recommended as the material to be used, as this is long lasting, offers better protection and is smooth causing less abrasion to the opposing tooth. Whereas if you require an inlay or onlay for your front teeth, or teeth that will be exposed when you smile or speak then porcelain will be recommended as the best material as this can be made and colored to match your existing healthy teeth and will thus blend in better. If are a person who habitually grinds your teeth or have a very strong bite or chew heavily, or if you have malocclusion where your jaw is misaligned, then resin could be the best material for you. The dentist will help you make your best choice.

In the second visit, sometimes a temporary inlay or onlay could be fitted, if the final inlay or onlay is not yet ready. The final fitting would require a third visit. If the final inlay or onlay is ready, this will be fitted in the second visit. The temporary sealant will first be removed. When fitting the inlay or onlay the dentist will ensure that the restoration fits perfectly with all adjacent teeth, that there are no problems with malocclusion that might affect the fit of the inlay or onlay. When the inlay or onlay is fitted, it will be bonded to the tooth and then polished.

If you’re in Playa Del Rey or surrounding areas, please call our office at 310-821-0992 to get more information about Inlays/Onlays in Playa Del Rey.