When a tooth suffers mild to moderate damage that is too extensive to be treated with a traditional filling, but a full dental crown is not necessary, we often recommend an inlay or onlay. These restorations are also known as indirect fillings because they are created outside of the mouth in a dental laboratory, and then bonded to the tooth. This is in contrast to a traditional filling which is applied directly to the tooth.
An inlay is used for damage on the chewing surface that is located between the points or cusps of the tooth. An onlay is more extensive and covers at least one of the cusps of the treated tooth.
There are many advantages to inlays and onlays when compared to traditional fillings:
- They are durable, lasting up to 30 years.
- They help to strengthen teeth by up to 75 percent.
- They prolong tooth life and prevent the need for future treatment.
When receiving an inlay or onlay, anesthesia will be used. The dentist will remove any old fillings and/or decay on the tooth. An impression will be taken which will be sent to the laboratory where your custom restoration will be created. Once it is complete, it will be cemented into place where it will blend in to achieve a natural, uniform appearance.
To learn more about inlays, onlays and other types of high-quality restorations, give us a call today at (720) 588-2968 to set up an appointment.