The most common form of tooth decay begins with cavities. When left untreated, cavities increase in size and depth on teeth. Cavities (professionally known as dental caries) can lead to infections and eventual tooth loss. One of the most common ways that dentists treat cavities is as follows:
- Identify the area of the cavity
- Scrape the decayed section of the tooth away
- Fill the vacated area of the tooth with a filling (either a metal amalgam or composite compound)
Yet, there is another treatment that is capable of addressing a cavity. Let’s take a look at dental inlays.
What Are Dental Inlays & Onlays?
Inlays and Onlays are small dental pieces that replace sections of the missing tooth. These treatments work perfectly for rear teeth (molars) which are the usual places where cavities are formed.
After a Craig Conrow DDS MS FACP provides you with a consultation, he’ll provide the details of the procedure. Overall the treatment proceeds with the steps listed below:
- First, the decay of the teeth is removed.
- An impression of the tooth requiring the Inlay or Onlay is taken.
- The tooth is prepared for the Inlay/Onlay bonding.
- The inlay/only is designed according to the tooth’s original structure and color.
The Benefits of Inlays & Onlays
Traditional fillings are effective in restoring teeth that have suffered from cavities. However, they can have a few drawbacks. For instance, when amalgam fillings are not bonded to teeth well (or if the bond loosens), teeth can weaken. Amalgam filling also can create wedges in teeth that eventually break teeth over time.
On the other hand, Inlays & Onlays are bonded to the chewing surface to protect the tooth and strengthen it. In many cases, inlays and Onlays last just as long as amalgam and composite fillings. Additionally, according to circumstance, Inlays/Onlays have presented better tooth appearance, functionality, preservation, and strength.
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