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Inlays and Onlays: An Important Restorative Dentistry Option

Inlays and onlays are not a well-known restorative dentistry treatment, but they can have tremendous benefits for your oral health. Like dental crowns, these custom-made restorations will fit right on top of your teeth. However, because they are smaller than crowns, they will require less alteration of your teeth. Dr. Abide will perform a careful exam before determining the right type of restoration for you. If you have extensive decay, a small crack, or similar damage, an inlay or onlay may be a conservative option to restore your oral function. To learn more about inlays and onlays, contact our Jackson, MS practice today.

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are designed for the top surfaces of molars. With our careful design process, they will match your other teeth, and they will maintain your natural bite alignment. Inlays are slightly smaller than onlays; they will simply rest between the cusps of your teeth. Onlays will cover the cusps and part of the walls of your teeth.

Are You a Candidate for an Inlay or Onlay?/

Most often, Dr. Abide uses inlays and onlays to treat dental decay. If you have a very large cavity, a filling will not be able to provide sufficient support. An inlay or onlay can cover up the decayed area of your tooth and restore your oral function. It is important to note, however, that if your cavity is too large, an inlay or onlay will not be enough. In these cases, you will need a full dental crown. Sometimes, Dr. Abide can also use inlays and onlays to treat cracked and weakened teeth.

To determine your candidacy for an inlay or onlay, Dr. Abide will conduct a thorough exam. He will take x-rays of your tooth to see how far the decay extends and to evaluate the soundness of your tooth.

What to Expect during Treatment

If he determines that an inlay or onlay is right for you, Dr. Abide will remove decayed tissue and reshape your tooth. He will need to remove a minimal amount of enamel to create room for your restoration. Then he will take impressions of your tooth, and lab technicians will use them to create your inlay or onlay. In most cases, they will use tooth-colored porcelain. This material is almost as strong as metal, and it will blend naturally with your smile. Working in conjunction with Dr. Abide, the lab will also make sure that your inlay or onlay matches the natural shape of your tooth, preserving your normal bite alignment.

The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

An inlay or onlay can fully restore your ability to bite and chew. It can also strengthen your weakened tooth and prevent further structural damage. At the same time, these restorations are conservative alternatives to dental crowns. Though restorative materials are quite strong, nothing can compare to biological tissue. Because inlays and onlays are much smaller than crowns, this type of restoration will preserve more of your tooth.

Contact Harmony Dental Care

Learn more about inlays and onlays and how they can benefit you. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Abide.