Most of us will face tooth decay and cavities at some point in our lives and need to have a tooth repaired. Fortunately, modern dentistry offers excellent solutions to repair decayed or broken teeth; durable and aesthetically-pleasing tooth-colored inlays, onlays, and crowns. Here's a guide to help you understand when your Houston dentist might recommend one of these dental restorations and why.
What Is a Dental Inlay?
Dental inlays are used in the same way as a tooth filling to restore a small portion of your tooth. The difference is that your dentist uses inlays for extensive decay and deeper cavities that develop within the cusps of your tooth. Your dentist will remove the diseased part of your tooth, and instead of using a filling, an inlay is a layer of ceramic customized to fit your tooth. Unlike dental fillings, a custom dental lab fabricates your inlay.
Your dentist places an inlay just like a dental crown by cementing it into place, then smoothing and polishing it for a seamless finish. This process makes an inlay very durable and an excellent long-term solution for restoring your tooth.
Onlays vs. Crowns
Your dentist uses onlays for teeth that have suffered significant damage because they cover one or more cusps of your tooth. A crown is essentially an onlay that includes all four cusps of your tooth since it restores your whole tooth structure.
If the tooth doesn't need the strength of an entire crown, your dentist in Houston might recommend an onlay as a less invasive, yet highly durable repair.
The procedure for completing inlays and onlay is similar to a dental crown as they require two visits with time in between for the dental lab to handcraft your new restoration. They also tend to be a bit more expensive than a dental filling, but they offer better long-term stability and durability.
To learn more about inlays and onlays in Memorial, TX, give GB Dental a call today.