Inlays & Onlays Gilroy, CA
When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay.
What are inlays & onlays?
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.
Considerations For Inlays & Onlays
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50 percent. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, which are bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, inlays and onlays can provide a very good alternative.
How are inlays & onlays applied?
Your First Visit
•1. The old filling is removed and any additional decay is removed.
•2. The tooth is shaped and prepared for the inlay or onlay.
•3. An impression is made of your teeth to ensure proper fit and bite. A model of your teeth is made from this impression and sent to the lab for fabrication. At the lab a porcelain, gold or composite resin is carefully placed into the model of your teeth and designed and shaped to look natural.
•4. A temporary inlay or onlay is placed on the tooth and the second visit is scheduled.
Your Second Visit:
•1. The temporary inlay or onlay is removed.
•2. Dr. Chan will make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly and precisely.
•3. If the fit is satisfactory, a conditioning gel is placed on your tooth to prepare it for the new filling.
•4. Bonding cement is placed on the tooth and a high intensity blue light bonds the resin to the tooth.
•5. The tooth is then finished and polished smooth.
The end result is your teeth are restored to a natural look and feel, they are stronger and the tooth is protected!