Inlays and Onlays Vs. Dental Crowns
Your teeth are incredibly strong. They are the strongest substance in your body. However, while they are strong, they can still be affected by physical damage and decay. Decay not only affects the physical structure of your teeth, but it can also affect your oral health, leading to tooth infections and other serious issues. Typically, decay and cavities are treated with fillings. Larger decay, or decay in certain areas of the teeth, however, may not be easily treated with fillings. At Century Dental, we can provide treatment with inlays and onlays, or with dental crowns.
What are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are an alternative to traditional amalgam and composite resin fillings. These types of fillings are known as indirect fillings. Rather than being cured inside of the cavity, they are created in our dental lab from an impression of your mouth after the decay has been eliminated. They are then bonded into place inside the tooth using special dental cement. Inlays and onlays are both fillings that are often used to treat cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars, where amalgam and composite resin fillings might compromise the structural integrity of the affected tooth or place it at risk for infection. Inlays are used to treat a single cusp. Onlays are used to treat two or more cusps and are often referred to as partial crowns.
A dental crown is a treatment used to treat a damaged or decayed tooth. This restoration resembles a cap in appearance and covers over the entire visible surface of the affected tooth. It works to hold the damaged tooth together and prevents further harm. It works to prevent infections and the need for a tooth extraction. A crown can also restore strength to the damaged tooth, allowing it to function normally.
The Treatment Process
Inlays, onlays, and dental crowns all have similar treatment times. It typically requires two separate appointments for all of these restorations. During your first appointment for an inlay or onlay, the affected tooth is cleaned, and the decay is drilled away. An impression is taken and sent to our dental lab. At your second appointment, your inlay or onlay is checked for fit and bite and then bonded inside of the cavity.
During the first appointment for a dental crown, the affected tooth is first prepared. This process involves removing a portion of the tooth enamel, reducing it in size. An impression of your tooth is taken and sent to our dental lab. At your second appointment, we check the crown for fit and bite and cement it into place over the surface of the damaged tooth.
Which Option is Right for Me?
When you have suffered tooth decay and damage, it is important to seek treatment right away. We perform a thorough oral examination, as well as take dental X-rays, to determine the extent of your damage. Once we have figured out how serious your damage or decay is, we can then help to determine the best treatment to meet your needs.
If you have suffered tooth decay and tooth damage, it is essential that you seek treatment right away. If you have any questions about inlays, onlays, and dental crowns, and finding out which option is right for you, call Century Dental at (971) 708-1608 to schedule your consultation today.