There are many different ways that dentists can restore the health and the appearance of a patient's smile. When it comes to tooth decay and tooth damage, the expert use of dental restorations can mean the difference between lasting dental health and tooth loss. By meeting with a skilled cosmetic dentist, patients will be able to learn more about all of their treatment options and how they can get the smile that they've always wanted.
One dental restoration option that can prove very helpful for many patients is inlays and onlays. Since some patients may not be aware of how these work, we'd like to take a few moments right now to go over some of the basics.
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are designed to replace substantial sections of tooth structure that have been decayed or damaged. The inlays and onlays are similar to dental fillings in some ways, though they are sturdy enough to replace large sections of a tooth, including the cusps (biting surfaces).
Ideal Candidates of Inlays and Onlays
The best candidates for inlays and onlays are people who have suffered major tooth decay or tooth damage and are not good candidates for dental fillings. These patients should have enough healthy tooth structure remaining to support the inlay or onlay, a call which will be made by our cosmetic dentistry team during the consultation process.
The Inlays and Onlays Procedure
During the inlays and onlays procedure, the first step will be the preparation of the tooth or teeth for the dental restoration. This means the removal of compromised tooth structure while maintaining as much healthy tooth structure as possible. Once this is completed, an impression is taken of the prepped teeth. From this impression, the final inlay/onlay will be created.
Once the inlay or onlay is ready, the dentist will check the dental restoration for fit and make final adjustments as needed. The dental restoration is then carefully adhered to the prepped tooth.
Alternatives to Inlays and Onlays
There are a few alternatives to inlays and onlays, including dental bonding, dental fillings, and dental crowns. The bonding procedure and the use of dental fillings are for minor cases of tooth damage and tooth decay, whereas dental crowns are for substantial cases of tooth damage that inlays and onlays cannot address.
The Best Treatment Option for Your Needs
Ideally, dentists want to work conservatively. It's important that patients maintain as much of their natural tooth structure as possible in order to ensure good dental health down the road. (This is why prevention and good dental hygiene are always the best options.)
During your visit, we will discuss all of your treatment options with you in full detail so that you understand what is ahead and can make empowered decisions about your dental health.
Learn More About Advanced Dental Care Treatments
If you would like more information about all of your options for advanced dental care treatment, be sure to contact our Bismarck cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health results.