Inlays & Onlays
What are Fillings?Fillings are a common treatment for cavities. They are designed to fill in the cavities, effectively stopping the destruction of decay and restoring your oral health. There are two types of fillings, amalgam, and composite. Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals that are suspended in mercury. They are known for their incredible strength and ability to withstand strong chewing forces. Composite fillings are made up of a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. They are best known for their ability to blend in perfectly with the color of your natural teeth, making them perfect for cavities affecting more visible teeth.
Alternative Treatment with Inlays and OnlaysAmalgam and composite may be effective in many cases, but they can cause serious issues if placed on the chewing surfaces of your molars. Because they are so strong, amalgam fillings can be driven deeper into a cavity when placed under extreme chewing pressure. As this occurs, the filling can cause the tooth to fracture or split. Composite is not nearly as strong as amalgam. This type of filling in this location can wear down more quickly or shatter under pressure.
Inlays and onlays are an alternative to traditional fillings, providing you with an effective solution for treating cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars. Inlays are designed to treat cavities in the crevices of these teeth. Onlays, also called partial crowns, treat cavities that affect the cusps. Both of these treatments are called indirect fillings, meaning that they are created outside of the affected teeth from impressions rather than curing a material inside the cavity.
How are Inlays and Onlays Placed?The process for placing an inlay or onlay is a bit more involved than a traditional filling, requiring two appointments to place. The first appointment involves preparing the cavity and taking an impression. We clean the tooth and drill the decay away from the cavity. Next, we take an impression of your tooth, which is sent to our dental lab. There, your inlay or onlay is designed and fabricated. A temporary filling is placed to protect your tooth until your restoration is ready. At your second appointment, we check the filling to ensure it fits properly and that your bite is natural. If everything looks good, the filling is bonded into place in the tooth.
What are the Benefits of Inlays and Onlays?There are many benefits to inlays and onlays. These include:
With inlays and onlays, we can treat cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars, providing you with a highly effective solution. For more information, and to find out if inlays or onlays are right for you, call Encino Cosmetic Dentistry today at (818) 783-0408.