Tooth Restoration with Inlays & Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are dental restorations used to repair teeth damaged by decay or injury. They are similar to dental fillings but are more significant and more durable. Inlays and onlays can be made from various materials, including porcelain, gold, or composite resin.
What is a dental inlay?
An inlay is used to repair a cavity in the centre of a tooth. It is a custom-made filling that fits into the prepared hole and is bonded to the tooth.
What is a dental onlay?
An onlay, on the other hand, is used to repair a larger area of the tooth, including one or more of the tooth’s cusps. An onlay covers the entire biting surface of the tooth and is bonded to the tooth.
At Amazing Smiles, our experienced dentists are skilled in providing high-quality restorative dental services to help preserve your oral health and enhance your smile.
Dental inlays and onlays are a conservative and durable way to restore damaged teeth and are an alternative to dental crowns.
They can provide a long-lasting solution to dental decay or damage and can last many years with proper care.
Your Local Teeth Restoration Dental Professionals
The process of getting dental inlays or onlays
Consultation and Evaluation
Our dental restoration professionals will examine your teeth and discuss your concerns, goals, and treatment options.
We will take X-rays and impressions to ensure precise measurements and a customized onlay that fits perfectly with your existing teeth.
Preparation and Temporary Onlay
Next, a temporary onlay will be placed to protect the prepared tooth while your permanent onlay is fabricated in our dental lab.
The temporary onlay will ensure you can function comfortably until your next appointment.
Placement and Finalization
Our dental restoration professionals at Amazing Smiles pay meticulous attention to detail to ensure a precise fit and natural appearance. We will check your bite and make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper alignment and comfort.
Once everything is in place, your onlay or inlay will be polished to perfection, leaving you with a restored tooth that blends seamlessly with your smile.
Treat Tooth Decay Before It Leads to Tooth Loss
Over time, the enamel becomes weakened and forms cavities. If left untreated, the decay progresses to the underlying layer called dentin.
As the decay advances, it can reach the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels. Infection and inflammation can develop, leading to toothache and sensitivity.
As tooth decay continues, the structural integrity of the tooth is compromised. The weakened tooth is more susceptible to fractures or breakage, especially when subjected to regular biting and chewing forces.
The decay can also affect the surrounding gum tissues, leading to gum or periodontal disease. This can cause gum recession and bone loss, resulting in tooth loss.
Extraction may be necessary in severe cases where the decay is extensive and the tooth is beyond repair.
Regular dental check-ups, proper oral hygiene practices, and timely treatment of tooth decay are essential in preventing its progression to tooth loss.
Crafting your inlay or onlay
First, the dentist will prepare the affected tooth by removing any decay or damage. Then, impressions of the tooth and surrounding teeth are taken.
These impressions are sent to a dental laboratory, where skilled technicians craft the inlay or onlay using durable materials like porcelain, composite resin, or gold.
The dental lab uses the impressions as a guide to creating a restoration that matches the natural tooth’s shape, size, and colour. The technicians pay meticulous attention to detail, ensuring the restoration fits snugly and seamlessly into the prepared tooth.
Once the restoration is complete, the patient returns to the dentist’s office for placement. The dentist carefully checks and adjusts the fit to ensure optimal comfort and bite alignment.
The inlay or onlay is bonded securely to the tooth using dental cement or adhesive.
Why Choose Us for Inlays & Onlays?
We work closely with a trusted local dental lab to ensure that each restoration is crafted with precision and exceptional quality.
By utilizing the expertise of skilled technicians and collaborating closely with the lab, we can deliver tooth restorations that restore the function and appearance of your teeth and provide long-lasting durability and a natural-looking result.
Treat Tooth Decay Before it Worsens
Stages of Dental Cavity
Dental cavities, also known as tooth decay or dental caries, progress through several stages if left untreated. It’s important to address dental cavities at the earliest stages to prevent further decay and potential complications. If you suspect you have a dental cavity, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your closest dentist for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.
Fillings, inlays, and onlays are different dental restorations used to treat different levels of tooth decay or damage.
Fillings are the most common type of dental restoration. They are used to repair minor to moderate cavities or small areas of tooth damage. Fillings are typically made of composite resin, amalgam, or other materials and are placed directly into the prepared cavity. They are shaped and hardened to restore the tooth’s shape and function.
Inlays are used when tooth decay or damage extends beyond what a filling can effectively repair. They are custom-made restorations that fit within the contours of the tooth, specifically within the chewing surface (cusps) and between the cusps. Inlays are fabricated in a dental laboratory based on impressions of the prepared tooth. They are then bonded to the tooth using dental cement.
Onlays, also known as partial crowns, are used when the tooth decay or damage is more extensive and involves the chewing surface and one or more cusps of the tooth. Onlays are similar to inlays in that they are custom-made restorations created in a dental laboratory. However, onlays cover a larger portion of the tooth and are designed to replace the damaged or decayed portion while preserving as much of the healthy tooth structure as possible.
In summary, fillings are used for smaller cavities or minor damage, while inlays and onlays are more suitable for larger areas of decay or damage that extend beyond the tooth’s cusps. The choice between these restorations depends on the extent of the tooth’s involvement and the patient’s specific needs. At Amazing Smiles, our dental professionals can provide a comprehensive evaluation and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for your dental condition.
No, a dental onlay is not the same as a dental crown. While both are dental restorations, they differ in the extent of tooth coverage and the areas of the tooth they address.
A dental onlay is a custom-made restoration used to repair a tooth with moderate to extensive decay or damage, particularly involving the chewing surface and the cusps of the tooth. It covers a larger portion of the tooth than a dental filling but does not encase the entire visible portion of the tooth.
On the other hand, a dental crown, also known as a dental cap, is a restoration that covers the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gum line. It is typically used when a tooth is extensively decayed, damaged, or weakened and requires full coverage and protection.
In summary, a dental onlay is a partial coverage restoration that addresses decay or damage on the chewing surface and cusps of the tooth. In contrast, a dental crown provides full coverage of the visible portion of the tooth. The choice between an onlay and a crown depends on the extent of the tooth’s involvement and the patient’s specific needs, as determined by the dentist during an examination.
When getting a dental inlay or onlay, you can expect the following steps and considerations:
- Examination and Treatment Planning: Your dentist will first examine your tooth to assess the extent of the decay or damage and determine if an inlay or onlay is the appropriate treatment option. X-rays may be taken for a more detailed evaluation. The dentist will discuss the procedure with you, explain the benefits, and address any concerns or questions.
- Tooth Preparation: The affected tooth will be prepared to accommodate the inlay or onlay. This involves removing the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth and shaping it to create space for restoration. Your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area, ensuring your comfort throughout the procedure.
- Impression and Temporary Restoration: An impression of the prepared tooth will be taken and sent to a dental laboratory to fabricate the custom-made inlay or onlay. Meanwhile, a temporary restoration will be placed on the tooth to protect it until the permanent restoration is ready.
- Final Placement: Once your custom-made inlay or onlay is ready, you will return to the dental office for its placement. The temporary restoration will be removed, and the tooth will be thoroughly cleaned and prepared for bonding. The dentist will carefully place the inlay or onlay onto the tooth to ensure proper fit and alignment. The restoration will be bonded securely in place using dental cement or adhesive.
- Bite Adjustment and Polishing: After the placement, your dentist will check your bite and make any necessary adjustments to ensure proper occlusion and comfort. The restoration will be polished to a smooth finish, providing a natural appearance and enhancing aesthetics.
- Oral Care and Maintenance: Maintaining good oral hygiene practices after receiving a dental inlay or onlay is important. Brush and floss your teeth regularly, and visit your dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings. Avoid biting or chewing on hard objects that may damage the restoration. With proper care, dental inlays and onlays can be long-lasting and contribute to the health and functionality of your teeth.
During the process, the Amazing Smiles Dental Team will prioritize your comfort and well-being, ensuring you are informed and at ease throughout the procedure. They will provide post-treatment instructions and address any concerns you may have.
A dental inlay or onlay cost can vary depending on several factors. These factors may include:
- Material Used: The type of material chosen for the inlay or onlay can influence the cost. Different materials, such as composite resin, porcelain, or gold, have varying costs associated with their fabrication and placement.
- Size and Complexity: The size and complexity of the tooth restoration needed can impact the cost. More extensive restorations may require more time, materials, and expertise, leading to higher costs.
- Additional Treatments: If additional treatments, such as tooth preparation, dental anesthesia, or tooth extractions, are required before placing the inlay or onlay, they may affect the overall cost.
It’s important to note that the cost of a dental inlay or onlay can vary due to the abovementioned factors. Our dentists will provide a comprehensive treatment plan and cost estimate after evaluating your specific needs and discussing your options. Contact our nearest dental clinic to discuss further details or arrange an initial check-up and clean appointment for a proper diagnosis.
Yes, in many cases, you can claim a dental inlay or onlay on private health insurance. The specific coverage and benefits will depend on your insurance plan and level of coverage.
Private health insurance policies typically include dental extras or ancillary cover, which may provide benefits for restorative dental procedures like inlays and onlays. However, reviewing your policy details, including waiting periods, annual limits, and any specific terms or conditions related to dental restorations, is important.
When considering a dental inlay or onlay, you should contact your private health insurance provider to inquire about the specific coverage available. They can provide information on eligible benefits, out-of-pocket expenses, and the claiming process.
Also, consulting with our dental clinic to discuss your insurance coverage is recommended. We can help you understand the treatment costs, provide the necessary documentation for insurance claims, and guide you through the process to ensure a smooth reimbursement experience.
Inlays and onlays are generally considered safe dental restorations with a high success rate. However, like any dental procedure, there are some potential risks involved. These risks may include:
- Allergic reactions: In rare cases, individuals may be allergic to the materials used in inlays or onlays, such as resin or metal alloys. It’s important to inform your dentist about known allergies or sensitivities to ensure appropriate materials are used.
- Tooth sensitivity: After placing an inlay or onlay, some patients may experience temporary tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures. This sensitivity usually subsides within a few days or weeks. In rare cases, it may persist, requiring further evaluation and treatment.
- Discomfort or pain: Patients may sometimes experience discomfort or mild pain after placing an inlay or onlay. This is typically temporary and can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. If the discomfort persists or worsens, it’s important to contact your dentist for further evaluation.
- Damage or fracture: Although inlays and onlays are durable, they can still be subject to damage or fracture, especially if exposed to excessive biting forces or trauma. It’s essential to follow good oral hygiene practices and avoid habits that can stress the restoration, such as chewing on hard objects or opening packages with teeth.
It’s important to note that the risks associated with inlays and onlays are relatively low, and complications are rare. Your dentist will evaluate your oral health, discuss potential risks, and take necessary precautions to ensure a successful and comfortable treatment outcome.
The lifespan of a dental onlay or inlay can vary depending on several factors, including the materials used, the quality of the restoration, oral hygiene practices, and individual habits. On average, a well-maintained dental onlay or inlay can last anywhere from 10 to 30 years or more.
The durability of a dental onlay or inlay is influenced by the following factors:
- Material: Dental onlays or inlays can be made from various materials, such as porcelain, composite resin, or gold. Each material has its properties and longevity. Porcelain and composite resin restorations are commonly used for their natural appearance, strength, and durability.
- Oral hygiene: Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for the longevity of dental restorations. Regular brushing, flossing, and routine dental check-ups help prevent decay, gum disease, and further damage to the restoration.
- Biting forces: The biting forces exerted on the onlay or inlay can impact lifespan. Avoiding habits like biting on hard objects, using teeth as tools, or grinding/clenching can help preserve the integrity of the restoration and extend its longevity.
- Oral habits: Certain habits like teeth grinding (bruxism) or nail-biting can stress dental restorations excessively. If you have bruxism, your dentist may recommend a nightguard or other protective measures to minimize the impact on the onlay or inlay.
- Dental visits: Regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings allow dentists to monitor the condition of the onlay or inlay and address any issues promptly. These visits also provide an opportunity to detect and treat any underlying dental problems that could affect the longevity of the restoration.
It’s important to note that individual experiences may vary, and some onlays or inlays may require replacement sooner due to specific circumstances. Your dentist will assess the condition of your restoration during routine check-ups and recommend any necessary maintenance or replacement based on your unique situation.
If your dental inlay or onlay breaks or falls out, it’s important to take appropriate action to protect your oral health and seek dental care as soon as possible. Here are the steps you can take:
- Retrieve the restoration: If the inlay or onlay has completely fallen out, try to locate it and keep it in a safe place. Handling it carefully can prevent any damage and facilitate its potential reattachment.
- Rinse your mouth: Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to remove debris or food particles. Avoid using excessive force or sharp objects to clean the affected area.
- Temporary protection: If you cannot see a dentist immediately, apply a temporary dental cement or over-the-counter dental adhesive to cover the exposed area. This can help protect the tooth and prevent sensitivity.
- Contact your dentist: It’s essential to contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule an appointment. Inform them about the situation and describe any symptoms or discomfort you’re experiencing. They will provide guidance and determine the most appropriate course of action.
- Avoid self-repair: It’s important to resist the temptation to fix the inlay or onlay using household materials or adhesives. DIY repairs may lead to further damage or an improper fit, compromising the effectiveness of the restoration.
Remember, prompt, professional dental care is crucial to address a broken or dislodged dental inlay or onlay. Your nearest dentist will assess the situation, evaluate the restoration and tooth, and recommend the necessary steps to repair or replace the restoration, ensuring your oral health is restored.
While dental inlays and onlays are effective tooth restorations, dentists typically do not provide warranties for them due to several factors. Here are the reasons why it’s challenging to offer warranties for dental inlays or onlays:
- Patient responsibility: Dentists cannot monitor how patients manage their teeth at home. Factors such as oral hygiene habits, diet, and lifestyle choices can significantly impact the longevity and durability of dental restorations. Patients have a crucial role in maintaining their oral health and following good dental care practices.
- Individual variations: Each patient’s oral health and anatomical structure are unique. The success and longevity of dental inlays or onlays depend on various factors, such as the tooth’s condition, the accuracy of the restoration placement, and the patient’s oral health. Individual variations make it difficult to guarantee specific outcomes for dental restorations.
- Wear and tear: Dental restorations, including inlays and onlays, are subjected to natural wear and tear over time. Factors like chewing forces, teeth grinding, and clenching can stress the restoration, potentially leading to damage or failure. Predicting the extent of wear and tear an individual restoration will experience is challenging.
- External factors: Dental restorations can be influenced by external factors beyond the dentist’s control. Accidents, trauma, excessive biting forces, and dental diseases can impact the integrity and longevity of the restoration, making it challenging to offer comprehensive warranties.
While dentists may attend to a patient’s concerns shortly after receiving a dental inlay or onlay, the decision to address any issues is typically at the discretion of the individual dentist. Patients must communicate their concerns promptly, as early intervention may help address any unexpected complications and ensure optimal outcomes for their dental restorations.