What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are sometimes also referred to as “partial crowns.” The use of an inlay versus an onlay depends on where the damage is located on the tooth. When the inner center of the biting surface of the tooth is affected, inlays are employed and when the damage is on the outside edges (or “cusps”) of the tooth, an onlay can cover these areas. Inlays and onlays can be used to fix broken, decayed or chipped teeth or to fix a lost or damaged filling. Gold or porcelain inlays and onlays are most often used. Depending on where the problem area is within your mouth may determine which material is best for your individual needs.
Inlays and onlays have many benefits. These benefits perhaps most importantly include the long and durable lifespan of either option. Inlays and onlays are easy to care for and they preserve more of the natural tooth than other cosmetic dental options. They are precisely made to fit and can last a very long time. With an inlay or onlay, you can safely and securely protect your tooth from any further damage.
What Is Involved in the Procedure?
After the tooth has been prepared and the inlay or onlay has been precisely made to fit the problem area, it is ready to be placed. Dr. Nozaki will place the inlay or onlay as needed before it is sealed and bound to the tooth. After placement, Dr. Nozaki will check for a perfect seal and fit before the final polishing. He will also ensure that it feels comfortable and natural to you and that your bite is unaffected.
Lifespan and Care for Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays tend to be stronger and last longer than some other dental reconstruction options. However, to ensure you get the longest possible lifespan from your inlay or onlay, good oral hygiene must be maintained. Normal brushing, flossing and use of mouthwash are necessary with inlays and onlays just as with natural, untreated teeth. With good hygiene and routine check-ups, inlays and onlays can last for many, many years.