What are dental inlays and onlays?
Dental inlays and onlays are a similar type of restoration, but they cover different amounts of the tooth. A dental inlay fills the space in between the cusps (the rounded edges of the tooth) at the center of the tooth’s surface. Dental onlays works like an inlay, but covers a larger part of the tooth’s surface, sometimes covering the entire biting surface of a tooth. Dental onlays are sometimes called “partial crowns” because of their extensive coverage.
When do you need a dental onlay?
When a tooth has become too damaged to support an extensive filling, but is still not damaged enough to require a full dental crown, a dental onlay may be the answer. Removing even more of the natural tooth, in order to place a full crown may not be require, so a “partial crown” or dental inlays and onlays, can get the job done. Inlays and onlays are able to fill and cover large cavities without having to use a dental crown.
The dental onlay procedure typically entails:
During the first appointment, your dentist prepares the tooth by removing any tooth decay. Once the tooth is prepared, an impression is made of the tooth’s structure and then sent to a dental laboratory. Since it will take a few weeks to create the onlay, your dentist will place a temporary dental filling to preserve the tooth. During the second dental visit, the temporary filling is removed and the dental onlay is cemented onto the tooth.
For direct dental onlays, the same preparation is used, and the tooth is filled with composite resin material. Traditionally, the filling is molded and hardened in an oven and then cemented to the tooth. But now there’s a high-tech option for making direct dental onlays: CEREC® uses 3D computer imagery and other special equipment to produce porcelain restorations right in your dental office. By simply taking a picture of your tooth, your dentist can design and create dental onlays, dental inlays, dental crowns or veneers while you relax in the dental chair — no impressions, temporary fillings or second appointments are needed!
Call us today for a consultation regarding dental inlays and onlays in Bournemouth, or visit us at our Southborne locations. Call 01202 421 999 for a consultation today!