Tooth Restoration with Inlays and Onlays
By Dr. Tim Simpson on August 12, 2013
At his practice in Abilene, cosmetic dentist Tim Simpson utilizes inlays and onlays in the treatment of teeth damaged by decay. These restorations are highly effective in the treatment of decayed and damaged teeth. Inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, are typically used in the treatment of back teeth, but may be used in the treatment of more visible teeth as well. They are usually comprised of porcelain or resin materials. Once placed, inlays and onlays become virtually undetectable. They are incredibly strong, durable, and long-lasting, making them an excellent treatment option for many patients.
For damage or decay within the indented top surfaces of the teeth, between the cusps, inlays are used. During the first visit, the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth is carefully removed. During this process, as little of the healthy portion of the tooth is removed as possible. An impression is then made of the teeth. A temporary inlay is placed over the tooth until the permanent inlay is ready to be placed. The impression is taken to a laboratory. Using the impression, an inlay is custom-made to the tooth’s unique specifications. During the second visit, the permanent inlay is placed. The tooth is cleaned and prepared for the placement of the permanent inlay. After ensuring a proper fit, the inlay is bonded to the tooth.
When damage or decay extends to one or more of the cusps of the teeth, onlays are used. As with inlays, the onlays treatment process involves removing the damaged areas and making an impression of the tooth. A temporary onlay is then placed, and the impression is sent to the laboratory. The laboratory then crafts an onlay to the tooth’s unique specifications. Upon returning to the office, the onlay will be fitted and placed over the tooth.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays can help restore a healthy, dazzling smile. There are many benefits of inlays and onlays, which include:
- Protection: Inlays and onlays can prevent weakened teeth from becoming more damaged or decayed.
- Strength: Inlays and onlays are incredibly strong.
- Durability: Durable and long-lasting dental restorations, inlays and onlays can last for years and years (with proper care).
- Preservation of healthy tooth structures: The integrity of the tooth is not compromised with inlays and onlays because very little of the healthy tooth structure is removed. Because of this, inlays and onlays are considered to be a more conservative dental restoration than dental crowns.
- Aesthetically pleasing: Because they are customized to the tooth’s unique specifications, inlays and onlays are designed to blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth, making them completely inconspicuous once placed.
- An attractive alternative to metal fillings: Metal (amalgam) fillings can be replaced with inlays or onlays.
- Reduce tooth sensitivity: Inlays and onlays may be used to eliminate sensitivity within the teeth.
- Repair: Inlays and onlays may be used to repair chipped or cracked teeth.
- Resistant to stains: Inlays and onlays are highly resistant to staining.
Schedule an Appointment
Inlays and onlays offer many benefits. To learn more about inlays, onlays, or any of the other treatments available at the restorative dentistry practice of Dr. Tim Simpson, please call or email the office today. The friendly, knowledgeable staff of Abilene Aesthetic & Cosmetic Dentistry looks forward to serving your dental needs.
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“I have used Dr Simpson for the last 20 years. I cannot say enough about how friendly, awesome and amazing he AND his staff are. I highly recommend him and his office! Amazing care and people!” Terri C.