In Greenwood Inlays and Onlays are choice restorations
Dental inlays and onlays are dental options for restoring damaged or decayed teeth to their original form and function, and can actually strengthen the tooth. This approach is much more conservative than a dental crown because it does not require extensive removal of healthy tooth structure. They are stronger than a traditional amalgam filling because of the unique physical properties of gold. Because of these properties, gold exhibits excellent fracture resistance and wear very similar to enamel. An inlay is used when the damage is within the cusps, or tips, of the tooth. If the restoration covers the cusps and the entire chewing surface of the tooth it is called an onlay.
The procedures, whether to place an inlay or an onlay, are performed in much the same way as that of a crown or bridge. Two visits to the dentist’s office are required. During the first appointment, the patient is numbed with a local anesthetic to ensure comfort. The damage or decay is removed to prepare the tooth for its new surface. Once the tooth is prepared an impression is taken to use in casting the new restoration, this ensures an exact fit. The tooth is protected with a temporary restoration to preserve it until the permanent one is ready.
The inlay or onlay will usually be made of resin, porcelain, or gold, and is usually sent to your dentist in two to three weeks. When the patient returns for the second visit, the temporary is removed and the placement site is thoroughly cleaned. The new restoration is tried in to ensure proper fit and bite. If any adjustments are needed, Dr. Griffin sculpts them by hand for a precision fit then cements it into place. He then polishes the tooth and the new structure to finish the procedure.
A dental inlay or onlay procedure is completed on an outpatient basis in our office. Each visit to Dr. Griffin will take about an hour, possibly a little longer for onlays. Post treatment discomfort is rare, but can be taken care of with over the counter pain relievers if needed. There may be some sensitivity to hot or cold, but this should resolve within a couple of days. Inlays and onlays can last 10 to 30 years with appropriate dental care, hygiene and nutrition. The patient is advised to avoid chewing on fruit pits, ice, or other hard substances, as they can damage the dental work.
If you have a badly compromised tooth, call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Griffin to see if this traditional dental restoration can provide a conservative solution for you.