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When would my dentist use an inlay/onlay?

When your tooth gets damaged or fractured, it’s necessary to get immediate treatment so that you can protect the remaining healthy tooth structure. However, dental crowns are not always the treatment of choice for broken or fractured teeth. If your tooth does not need a full-coverage restoration, the next best solution to fix it is an inlay or an onlay.

How are Inlays and Onlays Different from Crowns?

Inlays and onlays are different from crowns because they cover smaller portions of the tooth. Dental crowns provide complete coverage of the tooth, which means the entire outer surface of the tooth needs to be trimmed down. The final trimmed tooth is called an abutment, upon which the crown will be cemented.

Besides their coverage, the material and fabrication process of crowns, inlays, and onlays are practically the same. They are all made of porcelain and custom-made in a dental laboratory. To create them, a mold of the damaged tooth needs to be taken so that the prosthetic will match the tooth as exactly as possible.

Dental Inlays

dental inlay in roseville caInlays are applied into the occlusal (biting) surface of the tooth, where you will find the deep grooves that often trap food. The best application of inlays is when you have a cavity in those deep grooves which has already extended near the dentin.

White fillings and dental bonding are not recommended for filling up big cavities because the material has a possibility to break or fracture. Inlays are made of porcelain and are fabricated in a separate laboratory. The end product is a very durable and resilient piece of molded restoration that is tailored to fit the damaged tooth.

Dental Onlays

dental onlay in roseville caOnlays are closer to crowns than inlays because they cover the sides of the tooth, but not all of them. Also called ¾ crowns, onlays can cover one, two, or three sides of the tooth, leaving at least one side unchanged. The great advantage of onlays over crowns is that they don’t require the entire tooth surface to be removed, so more of the remaining healthy parts of the tooth can be preserved.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are excellent restorations because they offer:

  1. Less removal of healthy tooth material. When you get a crown, your entire tooth will have to be trimmed down to form an abutment. Some healthy parts of the tooth may need to be removed just to make the crown fit. You can avoid this using inlays and onlays because they only need to replace damaged areas of the tooth.
  2. Maximum fit. Inlays and onlays are formed using an impression taken from your damaged tooth. This impression allows the dental technician to create a restoration that is custom-fitted to your tooth.
  3. Protection of tooth. The tight fit and efficient coverage of inlays and onlays prevent the possibility of internal decay because bacteria will not be able to get into any tiny gaps between the restoration and the tooth. This will also keep the rest of the natural tooth structure free from damage.
  4. Aesthetic appeal. Inlays and onlays can be colored to match the tooth and they are virtually invisible.
  5. Lower cost. The price of inlays and onlays is significantly lower than that of dental crowns because of the smaller amount of material needed to create the restoration.

It is important to note that inlays and onlays have certain limitations, particularly in terms of coverage. Our dentist Dr. Karanvir Sibia, DDS, will help you decide whether you need a crown, an inlay, or onlay. She will closely examine your teeth and lay out all the possible solutions to fix your dental problems.

If Dr. Sibia recommends a dental crown instead of an inlay or onlay, this may be because the crown is more suitable and beneficial to restoring your damaged tooth. In such cases, you may discuss the options with him as well as their pros and cons to better understand what choice is best for you.

Get Inlays and Onlays from the Best Roseville Cosmetic Dentist

Dr. Karanvir Sibia, DDS, at Ace Dental in Roseville is well-trained in various cosmetic procedures including crowns, inlays and onlays. He will guide you throughout the entire treatment process and explain every step that needs to be done. He will also ask for your personal input so that he can develop a treatment plan that is specifically suited to your needs.

If you would like to know more about inlays and onlays, you may visit our dental office at 1070 Pleasant Grove Suite 110 Roseville, CA 95678. We are open on weekdays from 9 am until 6 pm. We also accept Saturday appointments as long as the booking is done in advance.

To set up an appointment, please call us at 916-772-0111 or send us a message using the webform found here. Our dental staff will be happy to assist you in all of your dental care needs.

Call today to schedule an appointment for inlays/onlays!

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