Inlays and Onlays
Elk Grove, CA
If it has been a while since your last checkup, you may be surprised to find out how quickly tooth decay can spread in a short amount of time. Even with regular brushing, there may sometimes be spots that cannot be reached easily with a toothbrush. Plaque can build up fast, but fortunately through regular cleanings and checkups, Laguna View Family Dental can help you stay on top of your oral health.
Methods for Restoring Your Smile
Your treatment options will vary depending on the amount of damage done to the enamel. Through recent advancements in the field of cosmetic dentistry, we are able to explore new methods for repairing your teeth. For minimal issues, such as staining, we may recommend a veneer. Once the decay has been removed, a thin sheet of resin is applied to the outside of your tooth and then bonded with a special light. Veneers can be indistinguishable from your natural enamel and are generally just as strong.
For more extensive wear on your teeth, you might require a filling or a crown. Fillings are usually placed in a concentrated area after the decay has been removed to prevent the bacteria from destroying any more of your enamel. A crown usually fits over a tooth that has been badly damaged. It can restore function while at the same time holding the remaining part of the tooth together.
If your tooth has enough damage that it needs more work than a filling, but less than a whole crown, you may decide to go with either an inlay or an onlay. An inlay is a more concentrated treatment which goes between the cusps of your teeth, while an onlay generally covers more surface area, specifically where you bite.
How Inlays and Onlays Work
Because we prefer to save as much of your natural tooth as we can, an inlay or onlay may be a better option since we remove less enamel. First, of course, we will numb your mouth with a local anesthetic, so you feel more comfortable. Next, we will clean out the decay. It is important to remove all of it to stop the infection. Finally, an impression will then be made of the tooth with a putty-like substance that is then sent to a laboratory to create a model of your replacement.
You will have a temporary filling until your next visit, so be careful with sticky food like caramel, or you may accidentally pull it out. The inlay or onlay will be attached through resin bonding or a special type of dental cement which helps keep it secured. It can be as easy to care for as your tooth. Continue to floss and brush daily to ensure that your restoration can last for a long time.
Dental inlays and onlays can also be used to replace old fillings as well, so if you think you have some that may need to be checked out, we here at Laguna View Family Dental are happy to help you. Just give us a call at (916) 683-1335 to schedule an appointment to decide which dental treatment may be right for you.