There’s no need to suffer from a decayed or damaged tooth. At McCullough Dental, we really care about your dental health, so we have provided a variety of options for tooth damage treatments including inlays and onlays.
What Is an Inlay?
You have probably heard of a cavity filling before. Inlays are very similar to fillings, except that instead of filling the cavity with liquid amalgam or resin, inlays use a predetermined mold that slips into the cracks of the cavity-ridden tooth. This way, an inlay—in both form and function—is more like a partial crown that merely serves the same purpose as a filling.
Both inlays and standard cavity fillings have advantages, but here’s what an inlay could offer you over a standard filling:
- Durability: Inlays last longer. They can withstand more use and keep the cavity from returning much more efficiently.
- Quality: They are made of better materials that take into consideration your overall health.
- Precise: We will take at least two appointments to ensure that your inlay is applied with the utmost care and skill.
What Is an Onlay?
An onlay is another partial crown—like an inlay—only they are used to cover and support the outside of the tooth, the cusps, instead of the inside. These are used for slight outer damage to your tooth or mild infections that are affecting the outer layers of enamel.
Usually, an onlay is only needed in the event that a tooth has been damaged to the point where an inlay would be insufficient, but the infection has not yet reached the level of needing a full root canal. An onlay is used when the tooth damage doesn’t warrant an entire dental crown to cover the whole tooth.
Both inlays and onlays provide a healthy and attractive fix to your cavities. Since the treatment process for both inlays and onlays are very similar we’ll include a general procedure schedule below.
- In your first appointment, Dr. McCullough will apply a local anesthetic so you can be comfortable while the decayed enamel is removed.
- The cavity will be thoroughly cleaned out, leaving an empty depression in your tooth where the inlay/onlay will rest.
- Impressions will be taken of your teeth. These impressions will be used as a mold to make your permanent inlay/onlay.
- You’ll be given a temporary inlay/onlay or covering to protect the empty space while the permanent inlay/onlay is being made.
- Once the permanent inlay/onlay is prepared, you’ll come in for your second appointment where the dentist will remove the temporary inlay/onlay and place the permanent one.
Following the Procedure
In order for your inlay or onlay to have the best impact on your long-term oral health, it’s important to give them the best care, especially for the first couple of days following their placement. Proper inlay/onlay care looks like:
- Avoiding drinks that are either really hot or really cold.
- Staying away from hard or sticky food.
- Eating soft and simple foods to give your mouth a rest.
- Returning, once the numbness has faded, to a regular dental hygiene routine.
Once the inlay or onlay has bonded to your tooth, it becomes a sturdy support for your tooth, where regular cavity fillings can actually weaken the tooth. Inlays and onlays can reinforce the damaged teeth so they’ll be damage resistant and last longer.
Inlays and Onlays in Bakersfield
At McCullough Dental, we always have your health in mind. To prevent minor problems from becoming worse, we offer inlays and onlays as restorative dentistry options. We have a warm, friendly, and inviting staff and we’ll welcome you as part of our family.
Find Your Cavity Solutions at McCullough Dental
Interested in learning more about inlays and onlays for cavities and other tooth damage? Call our office today or set an appointment. We love to help our patients achieve their best oral health.