For many of us, the look of our smile is the most important issue with our mouths. But, a beautiful smile needs to be healthy. To achieve this, you need to maintain a good oral health routine.
Regular dental check-ups and daily brushing and flossing are crucial. Yet, sometimes, your teeth may require additional care. In such cases, your dentist may recommend inlays or onlays to restore your dental health. But, when do you actually need these dental treatments, and how can they benefit you?
Understanding Inlays and Onlays
To begin, you may not be familiar with these restorations. Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that repair damaged or decayed teeth. They are often considered a conservative alternative to dental crowns. This is because they preserve more of your natural tooth structure.
Your dentist will use inlays when the damage or decay moves to the central part of the tooth, within the cusps (the pointed parts of the tooth). They are typically made from materials like porcelain, ceramic, or composite resin. Your dentist will custom-fit the specific shape and size of the cavity.
Alternatively, your dentist may use onlays when the damage extends beyond the cusps or involves one or more of them. Onlays cover a larger portion of the tooth’s surface. They and are strengthen and protect the remaining tooth structure.
When Do You Need Inlays or Onlays?
Determining when inlays or onlays are necessary involves a thorough exam by your dentist. However, there are common situations where they may recommend these treatments.
Tooth Decay: When cavities (tooth decay) have formed but are not extensive enough to require a full dental crown, inlays or onlays can be an ideal choice. They provide a durable and aesthetically pleasing solution.
Fractured Teeth: If a tooth is cracked or has a fracture that doesn’t compromise its overall integrity, onlays can be used to repair and strengthen it. This is especially common in cases of cracked molars.
Large Fillings: When an existing filling has worn out or is too large to be replaced with a standard filling, inlays or onlays can restore the tooth. It will preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible.
Cosmetic: In some cases, patients opt for inlays or onlays to improve the appearance of their teeth. These restorations can correct minor imperfections or stains.
The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
These devices offer numerous advantages. For example, inlays and onlays require less removal of healthy tooth structures compared to crowns. This helps maintain the strength and integrity of your teeth. Furthermore, you can expect durability and longevity with these restorations. With proper care and maintenance, they can last for many years.
Also, your dentist will customize the inlays and onlays to match the color and shape of your natural teeth. This helps to ensure a seamless and attractive smile. Additionally, these treatments enhance the look of your teeth and restore their functionality.
Finally, the process of getting inlays or onlays is generally less invasive than crowns. This means less discomfort and a quicker recovery.