At times, usual fillings and cosmetic bonding do not prove sufficient for restoring the tooth strength. In such cases, dentists recommend dental inlays and onlays to restore stronger chewing ability. Both names are self-explanatory, onlays act as a cover on the teeth, while inlays are fitted inside the tooth’s structure.
What is an onlay dental procedure?
Onlay restoration involves the use of a custom-made filling that perfectly fits on the selected area (biting surface) of the tooth to restore its function. As it can also be used for covering the cusps of the tooth, it is considered as an alternative to a dental crown.
Onlay is recommended to patients in cases where their natural tooth structure becomes too weak even to survive a regular filling. It is the best way to retain natural tooth structure without allowing the decay or infection to spread further.
When a decayed tooth needs restoration, a resin inlay or onlay can be the most natural looking choice. The restoration method is recommended in case of decayed/fractured teeth, fractured fillings, and even for cosmetic enhancements.
The treatment has two phases, so, the patient needs to visit the dental office twice.
As a part of the procedure, the dentist would first administer local anesthetic for ensuring the affected denticle, and the nearby area remains numb. Then, the decayed portion is cleaned, removed to ensure only the strong structure remains in place. Later, the dentist takes the impression of the teeth structure in the mouth and sends it to the lab for designing porcelain, resin, or ceramic onlay. Temporary onlay material is placed on the damaged structure until the lab delivers the tailored onlay.
The onlay perfectly fits the hole, and dentists use a laser to harden it even further. The restoration lasts for several years if the patient maintains good oral health. Brushing and flossing remain as crucial as before.
Difference between onlay and crown
Onlay restoration involves retaining the natural tooth structure as much as possible. Parts that are affected due to decay or trauma are extracted and replaced with onlay covers.
Onlays can act as covers for one or more cusps of the damaged tooth. It is a less aggressive method of restoration.
On the other hand, the dentist needs to remove almost all the visible natural structure of the tooth while fitting a crown. It is considered as teeth replacement method rather than restoration and can prove to be ideal when the natural teeth reach a condition that’s beyond repair due to decay, infection, or accident.
Tooth inlay procedure
Inlay procedure involves placing a custom-made insert in the selected area of the tooth to restore it. The method helps in stabilizing the affected tooth and in preventing further decay.
During the procedure, the affected area of the denticle is cleaned; a scan of the tooth is taken for creating the exact-fit filling. Once the lab delivers the custom-made insert, it is placed inside the concerned space. Just like in case of onlay, the dentist might administer local anesthetic to keep the area numb during the treatment.
Inlays made using composite resin and porcelain are considered more durable than usual fillings. Compared to typical tooth filling, inlays can help in increasing the tooth strength by 50 percent. Inlays can be best for treating fractured, decayed, and broken teeth that require a large filling.
Types of inlay
When it comes to the types of inlay materials gold, amalgam, ceramics, (like porcelain) and composite resin are popular options.
Porcelain inlays offer natural look and ability to blend with surrounding teeth.
Gold was probably the most preferred material during the 1980s and early 90s. It offers durability, strength, and ability to sustain wear and tear. It looks fantastic, but the increase in the price of the shiny metal makes it less affordable. Gold restoration can last for three decades or more. Thus, older dentists still prefer gold over other materials.
Some dental offices have their labs to create inlays and onlays for patients. Such dentists can complete the treatment in a single visit.
Tooth pain after inlay
As mentioned earlier, the process is simple and helps in retaining natural tooth structure. The decay removal process performed before placing inlay and onlay is something that’s done even before traditional tooth filling. The patient might experience mild discomfort after undergoing the procedure. However, due to the use of local anesthesia, there is no pain involved in the treatment.
Are onlays better than crowns?
Both crowns and onlays happen to be a part of the restorative dentistry. The procedures strengthen and restore the functioning of the teeth and oral health. However, these procedures have a different set of benefits.
Dental care experts prefer onlays more than crowns as the latter requires dentists to remove more of the natural tooth structure.
A restored tooth with onlay can last longer than a crown fitted one. Both can get affected due to decay at a later stage.
Of course, inlays, onlays, and fillings may not be sufficient for extensive damage. But, crowns may not prove to be the best option for patients who suffer from gum diseases. Metal crowns often cause allergic reactions when they come in contact with the gum.
Patients who plan to get the job done with the help of their insurance coverage should check if their policy covers the expenditure on inlays and onlays. Most of the companies do not offer the same.
The cost for onlay can be between $500 and $ 950 per tooth, which is lesser than the charges for crown based treatment. Fees vary, depending on the number of teeth to be restored, and the materials to be used.
If you are looking for a trustworthy dental office in Roswell (GA), you should consider fixing an appointment at TruCare Dentistry. Dr. Toral Ardeshna can help you in choosing the best inlays, onlays, and fillings options to restore the functioning of the affected teeth.