Tooth decay is painful and can spread throughout the teeth if left untreated. Dental inlays and onlays are permanent solutions to restore the tooth after decay has taken place, and are an option for patients who do not require a complete extraction of the damaged tooth. Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS offer inlays and onlays to our patients in Cincinnati.
What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
Also known as “indirect fillings,” dental inlays and onlays are applied to cavities in the teeth by your dentist after being constructed outside the mouth at a dental lab. Dental inlays are fitted within a tooth and are surrounded by your natural tooth on either side of the inlay. Onlays are fitted on top of the tooth, covering its surface.
What is the Procedure for Placing Dental Inlays or Onlays?
If your dentist determines that you need an inlay or onlay, the first step will be to numb the tooth and surrounding areas with anesthetic. Then, any decay will be removed to prevent it from progressing. Once these steps are complete, your dentist will make an impression of the tooth or teeth, and send this to a dental lab so that the inlay or onlay can be prepared. Finally, a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed to protect your tooth as the permanent restoration is prepared. Inlays and onlays are made of either gold or a tooth-colored ceramic or resin.
Once your inlay or onlay is complete, your dentist will attach it to your tooth with either cement or a resin which will harden when exposed to a light. After this is complete, your dentist will inform you about the care that your inlay or online will require and discuss a plan for regular professional cleanings and dental check-ups to maintain your oral health.
Who Needs Dental Inlays or Onlays?
Patients who have tooth decay will in some cases require inlays or onlays. Tooth decay is an infection of the tooth due to damage of the enamel or other complications, and will spread if it is not removed and treated. Dentists prioritize leaving as much of the natural tooth intact as possible, so inlays or onlays are chosen as an alternative to removing the tooth altogether and replacing them with crowns whenever this option is available. Symptoms of tooth decay include toothache, tooth sensitivity, brown, black, or white stains on the teeth, and visible holes or pits in the teeth.
Schedule an Appointment
If you believe you are experiencing tooth decay and are interesting in dental inlays or onlays, schedule an appointment with Fennell, Yoxthimer, and Associates, DDS. Call our Cincinnati office at (513) 631-6600 or request your appointment online.