Inlays and Onlays
Any patient who has been diagnosed with a cavity has little to worry about. There are several different ways to fill the cavity. They are all considered minor, restorative dental procedures, which restore the oral cavity to a high degree of health. Most patients realize fillings are the preferred method to treat cavities. However, many fail to realize they can also be used for other treatments. For example, fillings can take care of improper spacing between teeth.
The most common types of fillings include inlays and onlays. A minor cavity, which is typically quite small, can be taken care of by using an inlay. When the cavity is considerably larger, with significant damage, an onlay filling will typically be recommended. The definition of significant damage, according to the American Dental Association, is any damage extending past the cusp of the tooth. Before any type of filling can be selected, a thorough assessment needs to be done.
Patients suffering from acute tooth pain might have a cavity. They should come to our Artistic Dental office for an evaluation. If a cavity is discovered, then an appropriate course of action can be recommended. We will discuss the various types of fillings and which one would be appropriate for their situation.
How Durable Are Fillings?
The lifespan of any filling will vary due to several factors. The most significant factor is what type of material is in the filling. The first fillings were made from gold. In some cases, gold is still used in making fillings today; however the go-to material is now porcelain. Why the change? There are many different reasons, but the main ones are the difference in costs and the flexibility of porcelain. When using porcelain, it can be tinted to any color to match the patient’s teeth. Regardless, gold is still considered the most durable material fortifying damaged teeth by up to 75% in many cases. Fillings made from gold can sometimes last up to 30 years because they do not easily wear out. When patients come to our office, we can assess their situation and discuss what type of filling best meets their needs.
Inlays and Onlays vs. Crowns
Those patients who have teeth damaged by decay, erosion, or cavities can benefit from having a filling placed. However, there is another solution that can also help. A crown can be placed on the tooth, but not until the damaged tooth is worn down to make adequate room for the crown. This is so the biting motion does not change. While this is an option, it is more expensive and more invasive. With inlays and onlays, there is no wearing down of the tooth. They are placed directly on the existing surface.
When Are Onlays and Inlays Necessary?
When a patient has teeth that were damaged, either by disease, trauma, or cavities, inlays and onlays can restore the health of the tooth and improve functionality. Either type of filling can take care of the issue.
For those patients who want to find out more about fillings, they can come to our Artistic Dental office. We can also be reached at (848) 222-3984.