Inlays and onlays restore teeth damaged by decay. Our Port Orange, FL, dentist, Dr. Jeff Kim of Ultimate Dental Studio, shares a few benefits of the restorations.
What are inlays and onlays?
Sometimes tooth decay is so extensive that a filling won't work, but not so bad that you need a crown. In these cases, inlays and onlays are used to restore teeth. Unlike traditional fillings, porcelain inlays and onlays are created in a dental laboratory and then permanently attached to your teeth in our Port Orange office.
If you run your finger over your teeth, you'll feel little ridges around the edges. These ridges, called cusps, help you tear food when you eat. When you need a filling that doesn't extend beyond the cusps, an inlay is used. Onlays extend beyond at least one cusp.
What are the advantages of inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays offer several benefits, including:
- Preservation of Healthy Tooth Structure: Crowns offer an effective way to restore a tooth severely damaged by decay, but in order to receive a crown, part of the healthy tooth structure must be filed down. When you have an inlay or onlay instead of a crown, there's no need to file your tooth.
- Lower Chance of Another Cavity in Some Cases: Inlays and onlays are good choices if you have a cavity between two teeth. Although a traditional filling could be used, inlays and onlays do a better job at completely sealing your tooth. When your tooth is sealed, bacteria can't enter and cause a new cavity.
- Improved Appearance: Composite resin fillings may eventually become stained or discolored. Because inlays and onlays are made of porcelain, they'll never change color.
- Ease of Cleaning: Keeping the area around the bottom of a crown clean is very important, but cleaning can be difficult if the crown is very tight. Because inlays and onlays are placed on the top of teeth only, cleaning is a simple as ever.
- Improved Strength: Tooth decay weakens your tooth, but adding an inlay or onlay can make it stronger.
Could you benefit from an inlay or onlay? Call our Port Orange, FL, dentist, Dr. Kim of Ultimate Dental Studio, at (386) 322-4867 to find out if the restorations are a good choice for you.