Inlays & Onlays
When dealing with tooth decay, one of the most common ways of dealing with it is the use of amalgam fillings. If decay is serious, and the structure of the tooth compromised, a crown is another common solution. At Kooning Family Dentistry, we offer you another alternative that can often be superior to a traditional filling: inlays and onlays.
The Traditional FillingThe traditional filling for tooth decay is frequently made from amalgam, a silver colored material made up of several elements. Decay is drilled from your tooth and the space cleaned. The amalgam is placed within the hole and hardened. While an amalgam filling is affordable, it does not match the color of your tooth. It also shrinks when hardened and may even weaken the tooth, depending upon the size of the cavity.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?Inlays and onlays are considered to be more a conservative fix than a crown, which would require you to have your tooth reshaped. They are often referred to as indirect fillings, being created in the lab from a mold of your tooth. Inlays and onlays are meant to fix the chewing surfaces of your teeth. An inlay fixes the damage within a single cusp of your molar while an onlay fixes a larger amount of damage that covers the whole surface and more than one cusp. An onlay is often referred to as a partial crown. They can be made from porcelain, composite resin, or gold.
Getting Your Inlay or OnlayWhen getting your inlay or onlay, the decay is first removed from your tooth. An impression of the affected tooth is taken and the tooth is color matched, if you have chosen a porcelain crown. The inlay or onlay is created in a lab to perfectly fit your tooth. Until your permanent inlay or onlay is ready, we will give you a temporary one to fill the space, preventing bacteria from getting in. When your permanent restoration is ready, you will return to the office and it will be cemented in place.
Benefits of Inlays and OnlaysInlays and onlays offer a multitude of benefits:
If you are interested in an alternative to the traditional amalgam filling, contact Kooning Family Dentistry. We want to give you the information you need to make an informed decision on what treatments are best for you. It is our goal to provide you with the treatment you deserve. Call us today at (503) 673-9097!