Inlays and Onlays
Cavities are one of the most common oral health issues. While frequently associated with children, cavities can affect the oral health of anyone, regardless of age. Approximately 91% of adults have suffered at least one cavity in an adult tooth in their lifetime. Cavities are usually treated with amalgam or composite fillings. While effective in most cases, some cavities can present complications, particularly cavities found on the chewing surfaces of your molars. At Dental Arts of Frederick, we can provide effective treatment for these more difficult cavities with inlays and onlays.
The Issues with Traditional Fillings
In many cases, cavities are successfully treated with either amalgam or composite resin fillings. Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metal suspended in mercury. These fillings are incredibly strong.
Composite fillings are made of up of a mixture of plastic, fine glass, and other materials. While not as strong as amalgam, they are tooth-colored, which enables them to blend in with the rest of your surrounding tooth structure. While these fillings have their place, both can cause issues for molars that have cavities in the chewing surfaces. An amalgam filling in this area can be driven deeper into the molar by excessive chewing forces, which could split the tooth. At the same time, a composite resin filling in this region can break down faster under the chewing pressure or shatter completely.
Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are fillings designed specifically to treat cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars. These fillings strengthen the tooth, rather than place it at risk. They are known as indirect fillings. This means that they are created outside of the tooth in our dental lab, rather than cured inside of it like an amalgam or composite resin filling. Inlays are fillings meant to treat a cavity that affects only one cusp of the molar. An onlay, also referred to as a partial crown, treats a cavity that affects two or more cusps of the tooth.
How are Inlays and Onlays Placed?
Inlays and onlays require two appointments for placement. During the first appointment, we first clean the tooth and clear away the decay, much like as if we were preparing the tooth for a traditional filling. Once the decay has been eliminated, an impression of the tooth is taken. This impression is sent to our dental lab, where it is used to design and create your customized inlay or onlay. Until the restoration is complete, a process that can take up to two weeks, a temporary filling is placed. Once your restoration has been finished and sent back, you return for your second appointment. We check your inlay or onlay for a comfortable fit and a proper bite before bonding it into place inside the cavity.
The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
There are many benefits associated with inlays and onlays.
With inlays and onlays, we can restore the health and the strength of teeth affected by cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars. Call Dental Arts of Frederick today at 301-732-7277 for more information.
Monday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Providing prosthodontic and dental care in Frederick, Maryland, and the surrounding areas of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington DC.