Inlays & Onlays
When it comes to cavity treatment, you are most likely very familiar with fillings. Many adults have them. However, fillings are not the only treatment available for dealing with cavities. Inlays and onlays provide a unique alternative in certain situations. If a traditional filling just does not cut it for your cavity, Tim Perry, DDS can help to restore your tooth, and your oral health, with inlays and onlays.
Adding Strength to Your Tooth
Inlays and onlays both treat cavities on the tops of your molars. These surfaces are subjected to much stronger chewing pressure, especially near the very back of your mouth. Placing a composite resin, or even an amalgam, filling, in these locations could put your tooth at greater risk for infection or damage. Both inlays and onlays help to restore the strength of the tooth. Not only will your tooth be protected, but your restoration can also last longer.
More Conservative Treatment
When it comes to placing fillings, the decay needs to be drilled away. While composite resin bonds with your tooth, meaning that not much of your natural tooth structure needs to be removed, amalgam fillings require some shaping of the cavity to ensure that the filling remains properly in place. This means that more of your natural tooth enamel needs to be removed.
In cases of larger amounts of decay, where a crown may also be an option, a portion of you’re the enamel from all around your tooth needs to be removed so that the tooth can be made smaller. This makes it one of the most invasive treatments for restoring a decayed tooth. Inlays and onlays require a minimal amount of enamel removal before taking your impressions, making them one of the most conservative treatments available.
Inlays and onlays may be more expensive than traditional fillings, but they also cost less than dental crowns. They may also be covered, either partially or fully, by dental insurance. If you want to find out if your dental insurance covers inlays and onlays, you can read over your policy or contact your provider.
Many inlays and onlays are made using porcelain or ceramic. Not only are these materials durable, but they are also the most natural looking. Porcelain and ceramic both can be shaded to match the exact color of the natural tooth where they are being applied. Using these materials, no one will see flashes of gold or silver in your mouth.
No Shrinking or Expansion
A common issue with amalgam is that is susceptible to expanding and shrinking when exposed to hot or cold foods or beverages. Expanding and contracting can cause some significant damage to the tooth, leaving is vulnerable to bacterial invasion, new decay, and infections. Another issue with traditional fillings is that they can shrink when they are dried inside of the tooth. Porcelain and ceramic inlays and onlays are not affected by temperature fluctuations. Moreover, because the indirect filling is hardened outside of the tooth before being placed, it will not shrink after being placed.
If you are interested in learning more about inlays and onlays, contact Tim Perry, DDS at (318) 322-0576 today.