At Cormier Family Dentistry, we offer many ways to repair and restore damaged and decayed teeth, including dental bonding with white fillings and CEREC same-day, custom-crafted dental crowns. Sometimes a tooth may be too damaged to support a tooth filling, but not damaged enough to require a dental crown. When this is the case, we recommend inlays and onlays at our Shreveport dental practice as an intermediate option to protect the structure and health of the tooth.
When a tooth is not severely damaged enough to require a dental crown, the process of capping the tooth removes too much healthy tooth structure. However, an oversized dental filling does little to support the remaining structure of the tooth – oversized fillings will cause a tooth to break and even may eventually make root canal therapy necessary.
Dental inlays and onlays offer stronger and larger structural repair than traditional fillings without necessitating the removal of large amounts of the tooth. To learn more about these cosmetically appealing restorations, also known as indirect fillings, please contact Cormier Family Dentistry today.
What is the difference between a dental inlay and a dental onlay?
Inlays and onlays are essentially the same kind of restoration. Where they differ is in which portion of the tooth they cover. Dental inlays are effective in covering the space between cusps located at the center of the tooth. An onlay will cover multiple cusps and may also be used to cover the entire biting surface of the tooth. Where your decay is on the surface of your tooth and how much surface area must be covered determines whether you require and inlay or an onlay.
Both dental inlays and onlays look like your natural tooth and preserve the cosmetic integrity of your smile. They offer a graduated step to restore cavities that have grown too big for normal filling restoration, while still maintaining most of the integrity of the natural tooth. Dental onlays may also be referred to as a partial crown.
What is the procedure like?
First the area of decay is completely removed from the tooth. Then a mold is taken of the tooth so a restoration may be made either in office or at a dental lab. The inlay or onlay is then adhered with dental cement to your remaining tooth.
Are inlays or onlays right for me?
If you have tooth decay that needs to be treated, we will take time to evaluate the amount of damage to your tooth. If we determine that the tooth decay is too big for a filling, but you still have enough healthy tooth structure left, we may recommend an only or an inlay to repair the tooth.
Learn More about Inlays and Onlays
If you are concerned about a cavity or tooth decay and feel that you might benefit from inlays or onlays, please make an appointment to visit our Shreveport office today. With early intervention, we are able to use less invasive methods such as fillings, inlays, and onlays to repair damage and restore the function to your tooth. If the tooth goes unrepaired, you may lose more of the natural tooth and require a more intensive restorative treatment such as a dental crown or even root canal therapy to salvage the tooth.
Don’t delay! Set up an appointment for evaluation today by calling 318-868-4072.