Even though adult teeth are built to last a lifetime, it is not always the case. Many people lose their natural teeth early in life, with many causes to blame, particularly dental decay. While tooth extraction is still a viable treatment for your diseased tooth, you can consider other treatments that do not necessarily involve permanently extracting your natural teeth.
In restorative dentistry, the goal is to treat the underlying infection and dental problem while preserving the natural tooth. In that case, dentists will employ different techniques and dental appliances to repair and restore teeth. Some of the oral appliances to consider for restoring your teeth are inlays, onlays, and overlays.
What Are Onlays and Inlays?
They are oral appliances used in restorative dentistry to repair damaged teeth by filling the hollow thereof. The usage of inlays and onlays in dentistry is closely comparable to dental fillings and dental crowns. However, there are some distinctions thereof, which makes inlays and onlays unique and invaluable for restoring teeth.
Fast Facts About Inlays and Onlays Dental Appliances
Even though inlays and onlays have existed for many years in dentistry, very few people know enough about them. The concentration has been on other appliances like dental crowns and tooth fillings, even though inlays and onlays are just as valuable for dental restorations. Some of the facts you must learn about dental onlays and inlays include the following:
- They are tooth fillings – in restorative dentistry, the traditional types of dental fillings are not the only ones reliable for repairing and restoring teeth. Right from the concept of how they are applied to how they are used, dental inlays and onlays are tooth fillings.
- They are made of porcelain – one of the things that make inlays and onlays preferable to typical types of dental fillings is the material used to make them. In fact, patients refer to them as porcelain inlays and onlays in Ontario, CA because of the primary component used to make them. Thanks to the porcelain material, inlays and onlays are tooth-colored, allowing for a natural-looking and cosmetically pleasing result, whether for the front or back teeth. However, if you prefer using a different material, your Ontario dentist can recommend using composite resin or even gold as the primary component in creating your inlays or onlays.
- Composite onlays and overlays are partial dental crowns – one of the things that make these tooth fillings very similar to dental crowns is how they are used. Ideally, onlays are applied to your teeth to fill the hollow of the cavity, as well as the cusps of teeth. This means that the chewing surface of your tooth is filled with an onlay. Since the material does not completely cover the enamel of your tooth as is the case with dental crowns, onlays are termed as partial dental crowns.
- They are less invasive than dental crowns – while they may seem similar in how they work, onlays and inlays are less invasive than dental crowns. A small portion of your tooth is shaved to make room for an inlay or onlay, compared to the process of preparing your tooth for a dental crown. This way, inlays, and onlays preserve more of your natural tooth than their counterpart.
Advantages of Inlays, Onlays, and Overlays
If you are still hesitant about trying any of these oral appliances, perhaps considering the advantages they present will help you along the way. Some of the advantages are:
- Restoring teeth – inlays and onlays help repair and restore your damaged teeth, all with the consideration of preserving your natural teeth as much as possible. Using these oral appliances is a better alternative than having your teeth extracted simply because of a dental cavity.
- Cosmetic advantage – since they are tooth-colored, you can get the right shade of porcelain to match your natural teeth.
- The material does not shrink or expand – unlike the case with metals used to make dental fillings, the porcelain used for inlays and onlays do not expand or shrink with temperature changes. You can, therefore, be sure that your teeth will not start cracking soon after your treatment.
- Less invasive – for conservative patients, getting inlays and onlays will be more preferable to dental crowns because of the level of invasiveness involved in the procedure.