Inlays and Onlays: New Ideas in Dentistry
- Posted on: Sep 30 2017
Since the dawn of modern dentistry much has changed – thankfully! Did you know that the first “dentists” were the same people who would cut hair? Fortunately, the dental field has evolved to such an extent that we now have formal training, even beyond the basics of dental school. In addition to that, we’ve also seen a number of new techniques and materials developed to refine our work. Inlays and onlays are a perfect example of innovation in dentistry.
Inlays and Onlays: The Middle Ground
Dental injuries like cracks and cavities are never the same. Some problems center on the chewing surface of a tooth; some extend over one or more sides. It used to be that the smaller of the two types of damage could be repaired with a filling. This method of restoring structure sometimes extended beyond its reach. Large fillings presented unique challenges but had to be the norm during the early days of dentistry because there was no in-between type of treatment. When the damage was more severe, dentists would cover the entire tooth with a cap, or dental crown.
Inlays and onlays enable us to manage better the range of damage that may occur on a tooth. These restorations could be referred to as indirect fillings because they are made in a dental lab. An inlay sits in the central area of a tooth, in between all four cusps, or corners. If damage is over one or more cusps, an onlay is often the method of repair.
The Right Process for the Job
Dentistry has become more valuable with innovations like inlays and onlays. Using such techniques, we can restore the highest degree of structural stability to a tooth in a short matter of time. The process is similar to a filling; diseased enamel is removed. Instead of immediately filling the tooth, though, inlays and onlays require the use of impressions. The model that is made of the tooth is processed in a dental lab to make a custom-fit restoration. A temporary filling is placed after impressions are taken. This filling is then removed during a subsequent visit, and the final inlay or onlay is bonded into place.
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Posted in: Dental Inlays and Onlays