Inlays and Onlays
Here at Pacific Ave. Dental in Bremerton, WA we understand the importance of restorative dental procedures. Everyone is familiar with the most common restorative dental procedure-the dental filling.
What many people don't realize is that there are other, similar restorative procedures that, while less common, still fill a vital role in many patient's oral health. Inlays and onlays are similar to dental fillings in that they restore your natural teeth that are infected or broken to a healthy and stable state.
Direct Vs. Indirect Dental Restorations
Dental fillings are what is known as a direct dental restoration because the tooth filling material is placed and molded directly on the tooth.
To place a composite filling, we will mix the composite resin and some other materials to match the color of your teeth, and then apply it to your teeth as a putty. We will fill in the portion of your tooth that has been prepared with a dental drill with the composite resin, and set it in place permanently with a special UV light.
An indirect dental restoration, which is what inlays/onlays are, are made apart from the tooth and applied to the tooth in its final form.
What's the Difference Between an Inlay and an Onlay?
To understand the difference between an inlay and an onlay it is important to understand what the cusp of a tooth is. A cusp is an occlusal or incisal eminence, which means it is a high point on the tooth.
If you consider one of the front teeth, they all have one cusp, because there is only one single high point on the tooth. If you consider one of the molars, they have multiple cusps because they have a few high points.
An inlay is used to restore less than one cusp of a tooth whereas an onlay is used to restore one cusp or more of a tooth.
What Happens During the Procedure?
Having an inlay/onlay made and placed starts like every procedure here at Pacific Ave. Dental, we will ensure your comfort by applying a local anesthetic (if required) to make sure that you don't feel a thing.
We also offer a few different sedation options for those who are nervous about dental procedures or would like to relax during their procedure.
Once you are comfortable, we will begin the procedure. Inlays and onlay are usually used to restore teeth that have been badly damaged, either by physical trauma (when they are cracked or chipped), or teeth that have suffered from severe infections.
We will remove the portions of the tooth that are damaged beyond repair and make sure that the tooth is structurally sound. We will then take an impression of the tooth to send to our dental laboratory where they will craft a custom inlay or onlay for you. We will place a temporary dental restoration in your tooth while we wait for the inlay/onlay to be crafted.
It will be time to return to our office when the restoration has been sent back to us. We will remove the temporary restoration and place the permanent one using a special, long-lasting dental adhesive.