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Inlays and Onlays


Woman smiling with perfect teethAt DiMeo Family Dental, our team is always eager to enhance the shape and functions of your dental formula by fixing your teeth with inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays are a great way to fill in a tooth after a piece of it has broken off, or wasted away, leaving behind a dent.

Inlays and onlays are dental reconstructions often used in the place of a dental filling. They are installed to handle decayed teeth or damage to the tooth structure. The damage may range from mild to moderate and may not necessarily require a crown.

Patients with decayed or damaged teeth that are way beyond a simple filling can find inlays and onlays a great way to treat their teeth. However, for a successful procedure, there must still be sufficient dental structure left to hold the inlay or onlay in place. This typically allows the dentist to retain a large amount of the patient’s natural tooth.

Inlays and onlays are mostly made of porcelain, composite, and resin substances. These materials are chosen because of their capability to seamlessly blend with a patient’s natural teeth. Apart from replacing metal fillings, inlays and onlays can treat cavities, repair chipped teeth, and generally improve the strength of a tooth.

Though their pronunciations are almost similar, they have different functions. Inlays are popularly used for restoring smaller portions of damaged teeth. They are specific to the small portions of cusps where they are bonded either to the pre-molar or molar. Onlays are sometimes referred to as partial crowns as they are considered when the damage is more substantial. In this case, it could be extending to more than a few cusps.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays


Since the materials for fixing inlays and onlays are strong, they are durable and can last for ages. Studies show that when professionally fixed, some can last for at least 30 years. They are also a good way to help strengthen the teeth. Unlike metal fillings, which get eroded with time, inlays and onlays stay strong, boosting the functions of the teeth like biting and chewing.

After fixing teeth with inlays and onlays, the regular visits to the dentist may cease for a while. Inlays and onlays are fixed onto the tooth and exhibit the same color as the natural teeth. Noticing the difference is, therefore, very difficult. With the procedure, you do not have to worry about teeth discoloration either.

The Procedure for Inlays and Onlays


When you are considering an inlay or onlay, you will need to visit our office dentist at least twice. During the first visit, the extent of damage will be studied and impressions of the tooth taken. This is sent to the lab to be custom-constructed. The affected area is then properly cleaned and a temporary inlay or onlay placed over the tooth.

The second visit involves the fitting of the actual inlay or onlay. First, the temporary inlays or onlays are removed. Then permanent inlays or onlays are cemented onto the tooth using resin, which hardens when there is exposure to a special light.

For more information regarding inlays and onlays, feel free to get in touch. You can contact us, DiMeo Family Dental at (772) 362-9555 today.
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