Bite. Crack. Ouch!
A cracked or broken tooth is a real problem. Unlike other bones in your body, a tooth will not heal itself and you need to take care of it immediately. Depending on how bad the damage is and where it is located, your dentist will likely recommend an inlay, onlay, or a crown. All versions of the same idea, these restorative dentistry treatments are custom-made covers to protect your tooth and restore it to it’s full, healthy functioning condition.
Another reason you may need an inlay, onlay, or a crown is due to extensive tooth decay that is breaking down your tooth that requires more than a simple filling to fix.
Here’s how your options compare:
- Fillings: only fill a small, center portion of the biting surface of your tooth and is not a treatment for extensive damage
- Inlays: fill a larger portion of the biting surface than a filling contained within the cusp
- Onlays: fill and cover the biting surface of your tooth including up and over the rounded ridges (cusps)
- Crowns: covers the whole tooth; all or most of the visible portion above your gums
So you see, inlays and onlays are a great, intermediate option between a filling and a crown.
Benefits of Inlays & Onlays
Waterloo Heights dentist, Dr. Shih, can help determine if you need an inlay or onlay. If your tooth needs to be repaired, here are the benefits of inlays/onlays:
- While considered a relatively old technique, inlays/onlays are still the most appropriate and most effective treatment in many cases.
- Your tooth can withstand 50-75% more chewing pressure with an inlay or onlay!
- Inlays/onlays are a restorative dentistry treatment that holistically heals your tooth.
- Inlays/onlays can last longer than fillings.
- More of your natural tooth is preserved with an inlay/onlay than a metal filling.
- Inlays/onlays are made with porcelain or resin to match your natural tooth color.
- An inlay or onlay is less expensive than a crown.
- Sometimes an inlay or onlay can be completed in one day, during one dental visit.
- An inlay/onlay fits perfectly over your tooth so there will be no bulging that bothers your tongue, cheek or bite.
- Inlays/onlays make a very nice upgrade for old, large, metal fillings because it is healthier for your tooth and looks much nicer.
Getting an Inlay or Onlay
If you’re in the West Salem area and need an inlay or onlay, Dr. Shih has you covered … and your tooth! *Wink* Depending on your case, the inlay/onlay treatment will either require one or two trips to your West Salem dental office.
For the two-visit process: The dentist will prepare the tooth by cleaning out any decay and taking an impression. The dentist may give you a temporary filling just to protect the tooth from further damage. The inlay or onlay will then be made in a lab using your impression. Then, you’ll come back for a second visit to remove the temporary filling and have your inlay/onlay permanently placed on your tooth.
For the one-visit process: Your tooth will still be prepared with a good cleaning. But instead of taking impressions, the dentist will use a very special computer to take a photo of your tooth and create a perfect inlay/onlay right there in the office. You’ll relax until they come back and install it all in one day.
Call us today to make an appointment for a professional assessment of what kind of filling, crown, inlay or onlay you might need.