The team at Imagine Dental believes that the people of Phoenix should be able to smile with confidence. This is because we commit ourselves to improving the dental health of patients. We note aesthetics just as much as total wellness. We offer state-of-the-art dental services. This includes the latest in cosmetic and restorative dentistry treatments.
A number of patients have asked us about inlays and onlays in recent months, so we’d like to use this opportunity to explore the basics of inlays and onlays and then focus on how they are placed.
About Inlays and Onlays
In essence, inlays and onlays are essentially like larger forms of dental fillings. They are designed to address serious issues with tooth damage and tooth decay that cannot be treated through the use of a traditional dental filling. Inlays and onlays are so durable that they can be used to replace the entire topmost biting portion (aka cusp) of a person’s tooth if needed.
Good Candidates for Inlays and Onlays
Good candidates for inlays and onlays are people who have suffered serious issues with tooth decay and tooth damage but do not require a dental crown. In essence, the extent of the tooth damage will determine the ideal dental restoration.
Metal or Tooth-Colored Inlays/Onlays?
Metal and tooth color inlays/onlays are available. However, the ideal type of material for the restoration is generally determined by the tooth that needs restoring. While metal is sometimes more ideal for molars, tooth color materials are better for more prominent teeth.
With that said, more and more people are turning to tooth-colored dental restorations since they are quite durable and offer a number of aesthetic benefits that cannot be denied.
Prepping the Teeth
The first step when placing inlays and onlays is prepping the tooth. This will involve removal of the damaged portion of the tooth structure while maintaining as much natural, healthy tooth structure as possible.
Once we prepare the tooth or teeth, we take impressions so we can create the custom inlay or onlay. This assures the treatment we customize has the best possible restoration results.
Crafting Custom Restorations: CEREC Technology
In the past, traditionally dentists would take physical impressions of the teeth and then send these off to a dental lab to create the custom inlays and onlays. Today, you can save a lot of time thanks to CEREC technology.
CEREC brings the dental lab to the dental practice, allowing dentists to take impressions, create custom dental restorations at the practice, and place these custom restorations after they complete them. A process that could take a week to two weeks now only takes a few hours.
With CEREC, we take a digital impression of the teeth. We then send this information to an on-site milling unit that crafts the inlay/onlay out of a solid block of dental porcelain that we color match to a patient’s tooth.
Placing the Inlays and Onlays
Once we create the inlay or onlay, we check it one last time for proper fit and appearance. Then we adhere it securely in place. We give the patient some general guidelines for proper care in the short term. Additionally, any tips for good dental hygiene in the long run to ensure optimal results.
Learn More The Dental Restoration Procedure
For more information about the dental onlay procedure, be sure to contact our Phoenix or Ahwatukee office today. We at Imagine Dental look forward to your visit and discussing your options for dental care treatment.