Inlays & Onlays


a smiling patient with inlays and onlays from Platte Valley Dental Care
Cavities are a common dental issue that affects the oral health of millions. Most individuals have had at least one cavity in their lifetime. Cavities are the result of decay, which is caused by acid erosion. Plaque and bacteria both produce acids that, when left on the surfaces of your teeth, begin to eat away at your tooth enamel. This causes weak spots to form. Eventually, these weak spots begin to turn into pits or cavities. Cavities do not go away on their own. The longer they go untreated, the worse they become. While most cavities can be treated with fillings, there are some cavities that are more difficult to treat. Cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars can pose unique problems. Platte Valley Dental Care can treat these more difficult cavities with inlays and onlays.

Traditional Fillings

In most cases, cavities can be treated with amalgam or composite resin fillings. Amalgam fillings, also called silver fillings, are made up of a mixture of metals that are suspended in liquid mercury. These fillings are known for their incredible strength, but they do have some significant disadvantages. In addition to being silver in color, the mercury content raises concerns with many patients. Composite resin fillings, also called tooth-colored fillings, use composite resin to fill cavities. Composite resin is made up of a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. While tooth-colored, it is not as strong as amalgam, although it can withstand most normal daily use.

Inlays and Onlays

While amalgam and composite fillings are effective in most situations, they may pose some issues for treating cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars. Placing amalgam fillings in these cavities can compromise the structure of the tooth. Biting and chewing forces can wedge the filling deeper into the tooth, causing it to fracture. Composite fillings, on the other hand, can wear down prematurely and break, leaving the tooth susceptible to infections. Inlays and onlays provide an alternative to regular fillings and are designed to treat cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars. These fillings are often referred to as indirect fillings. Rather than being cured inside the tooth, they are created outside of it. Inlays are used for treating cavities that affect only one cusp of the molar. Onlays are used to cavities affecting two or more cusps, and are often called partial crowns. Both inlays and onlays can be made from a few different materials, with ceramic being one of the most popular options.

How Are Cavities Treated With Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays generally take two appointments to place. At the first appointment, we clean the affected tooth and clear the decay away from the cavity. After the cavity is cleaned out, an impression of the tooth is taken. This impression is sent to our dental lab, where your inlay or onlay is designed and created to fit perfectly within your cavity. When it is finished, the restoration is checked for fit and bite. Finally, it is cemented into place using a special dental bonding agent.

What Are the Benefits of Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays provide several significant benefits, including:
•  Strengthening the teeth, instead of compromising its structure and health.
•  Less of your natural tooth structure needs to be drilled away.
•  Inlays and onlays are a more affordable, and less invasive, treatment for restoring your oral health than crowns.
•  Inlays are not cured inside the tooth and therefore will not shrink when placed.
•  Ceramic inlays and onlays are not sensitive to temperature fluctuations. They also perfectly match the color and other properties of your natural tooth enamel.

If you have a cavity on the chewing surface of your molar and a traditional filling may pose problems, an inlay or an onlay can help. Call Platte Valley Dental Care at (816) 219-3133 today for more information.

Office Hours
Monday: 9 AM to 5 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM to 5 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM to 6 PM
Thursday: 8 AM to 5 PM
Friday: 8 AM to 2 PM
Copyright © 2018-2019 Platte Valley Dental Care and WEO MEDIA. All rights reserved.  Sitemap | Links