Inlays and onlays can be a practical option when tooth damage or decay is too extensive to be treated with a regular filling, but has not yet progressed to the point where a crown would be required. For many patients who favor a conservative approach to treatment, it’s an ideal choice.
These inconspicuous restorations allow experienced York, Pennsylvania dentist Dr. Gordon Bell to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible while restoring optimal strength. Inlays and onlays are made of a resilient material that looks just like your natural tooth enamel and provides a strong, even chewing surface.
The Same-Day Advantage
As a first step, Dr. Bell will remove any decay or damage from the tooth and it will be disinfected, cleaned and prepared for restoration. After that, impressions will be taken of the damaged tooth. In many cases, Dr. Bell is able to create the natural-looking inlay or onlay the very same day, using his advanced on-site CEREC milling system. This avoids the necessity of sending you home with a temporary protective covering.
When the inlay or onlay is ready, Dr. Bell places one of these small restorations over the affected area of the tooth to strengthen it and prolong its life. Inlays are placed inside the tooth’s raised edges, known as cusps. Onlays are larger and can extend over one or more cusps. Dr. Bell will then check the restoration’s fit against your bite, bond it into place and polish it to a bright, white shine.
Once this durable cover is in place, it strengthens and protects the tooth against further damage. Inlays and onlays generally last at least 10 years.
This convenient dental option can also be used to replace old metal fillings. The process is similar to that used for first-time decay or damage. The old filling is removed from the tooth and impressions are made to customize the restoration. Once the inlay or onlay is ready, your dentist bonds it into place with special cement.
To learn more about inlays and onlays, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bell at his York or Hellam office by calling (888) 906-2343 or emailing The Center for Dental Excellence today.