Dealing with a broken or decaying tooth can be an uncomfortable and sometimes painful experience. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers several effective solutions for fixing these issues, restoring both function and aesthetics to your smile.
Inlays and onlays are two of these options. They are much like regular fillings, but they are cast beforehand to fit the tooth exactly. With an inlay or an onlay, your smile will be as good as new!
Options for Fixing Broken or Decaying Teeth
When it comes to repairing damaged teeth, the method chosen will depend on the extent of the damage. Common solutions include:
- Dental Crowns: A crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth, restoring its shape, size, and strength, while also improving its appearance.
- Dental Bonding: This involves applying a tooth-colored resin material to the tooth, which is then hardened with a special light.
- Fillings: Typically used for minor repairs, fillings can be made from various materials like amalgam, composite, or gold.
When the damage to the tooth is too extensive for a filling but not so bad that a crown is necessary, we’ll probably use an inlay or an onlay.
Inlays are custom-made fillings that repair the inside cusp tips of a tooth. After the tooth is cleaned and prepared, a precis impression is taken. The impression is then used to fabricate an inlay that will fit perfectly inside the damaged tooth.
Onlays are more extensive than inlays and cover one or more cusps of the outer portion of the tooth. They are made in the same way as inlays with impressions. This makes them a beautiful foil for the remaining part of your tooth.
The Inlay/Onlay Tooth Repair Process
If you have a severely damaged tooth, an inlay or an onlay could be just what you need to restore full dental health. To repair teeth with inlays or onlays, dentists usually follow the following steps:
- Consultation and Evaluation: The dentist will examine the damaged tooth and decide if an inlay or onlay is the appropriate treatment.
- Tooth Preparation: The decayed or damaged area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay.
- Impression Making: An impression of the tooth is taken, which will be used to create the custom inlay or onlay.
- Temporary Sealant: A temporary sealant is applied to protect the tooth while the inlay or onlay is being fabricated.
- Fitting the Inlay/Onlay: Once ready, the inlay or onlay is carefully placed and bonded to the tooth.
- Polishing and Adjustments: Finally, the inlay or onlay is polished and adjusted for a perfect fit.
How to Care for Newly Repaired Teeth
Congratulations on the new addition to your smile! We want to help you keep your inlay or onlay for as long as possible to protect your tooth. Here’s what you can do to keep your inlay/onlay in great condition:
- Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing daily.
- Avoid hard and sticky foods that can dislodge or damage the repair.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups so we can keep your teeth clean and check up on your oral health.
Taking these steps will keep your inlay/onlay pristine, but it will also protect your other teeth from infection and decay.
Broken Tooth? Don’t Wait to Get Treatment!
If you have a broken or decaying tooth, it’s crucial to seek treatment as soon as possible to avoid further damage and complications. At our dental practice, we offer a range of options to restore your teeth to their natural strength and beauty. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin your journey to a restored smile.