Inlays and Onlays in Pacific Beach, San Diego
Tooth filling, but not enough to justify the coverage of a crown, Pacific Beach dentist Dr. Ricardo Hernandez may recommend an inlay or onlay. Like dental crowns, inlays and onlays are custom-made restorations. Unlike dental crowns, they fit into the existing grooves of the teeth and do not require the removal of healthy enamel.
Understanding Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are designed to restore form and function to teeth affected by decay or injury; they were developed as a middle ground between a filling and a dental crown. Inlays and onlays are made in a dental laboratory and bonded to the affected tooth in a subsequent visit.
Though they have the same purpose, inlays and onlays are structurally different. Whether you have an inlay or onlay placed depends on the amount of tooth structure that needs to be repaired. Inlays are smaller and used when the central area between the cusps (or points) of the teeth is damaged. They fit into a portion of the tooth surface. Onlays are larger and used when more of the tooth’s surface is damaged. Onlays cover most of the tooth’s chewing surface and extend over one or more of the tooth’s cusps.
Dr. Hernandez recommends treatment with inlays or onlays in specific circumstances. The advantages of these restorations include the following:
- Preserve tooth structure
- Reduce risk of recurrent decay
- Look like natural tooth enamel
- Offer long-lasting results
- Easy to keep clean
- Strong and stable
- Comfortable and secure fit
The planning and placement of inlays and onlays is completed in two dental appointments with Dr. Hernandez. During the first appointment, Dr. Hernandez will apply local anesthetic to the affected tooth and remove the decay. He is careful to remove only the damaged tooth structure and preserve as much healthy structure as possible. Dr. Hernandez will make an impression of the prepared tooth, and the information is sent to the dental laboratory responsible for making the inlay or onlay. You will receive a temporary restoration to wear while your permanent fixture is being crafted.
The permanent inlay or onlay, crafted from a porcelain or resin material, should be ready within two weeks. At that time, you will return to the office to have your temporary removed and your permanent restoration bonded into place.
Your inlay or onlay should fit comfortably and securely; you will not be able to feel it when you bite down on the affected tooth. Inlays in particular are good at sealing teeth to keep bacteria out in the future; on the other hand, onlays protect weak or compromised areas of the tooth. The inlay or onlay will be color matched to your natural teeth for a superior aesthetic result.
Learn More about Inlays and Onlays
To learn more about how inlays and onlays can restore health and function to teeth affected by decay, please contact Pacific Beach Smile Studio today. Call us at (858) 272-6047 to schedule an appointment with our leading dentist, Dr. Ricardo Hernandez.