Inlays and Onlays
Winston-Salem & Greensboro, NC
We love the word “inlays”, because to us, it sounds like something glittery, pretty, and precious. Our inlays aren’t really made of precious gold or anything, but they are precious for the health of your teeth. Inlays can be lifesaving as well as tooth saving. If you haven’t heard of inlays or onlays, we can help. Let Eric J. Sadler, DDS & Associates tell you about inlays and onlays.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Both inlays and onlays are used to repair a hole in a molar. Molars are a special kind of tooth you have in the back of your jaws. Your molars do a lot of grinding and chewing, so when they are damaged, it’s a big deal. Often, when a molar gets a cavity, the cavity can grow rather large. That’s because the shape of the molars make cavities more difficult to spot. Once we spot your molar, it may have grown rather large. If you have a cavity on the biting surface of your molar, and it is rather big, you may need to have it repaired- but a traditional filling may not work.
This is a problem, because molars are both indispensable for you to bite and chew. They are also difficult to get brushed and flossed properly, because they are in the very back of your mouth. If you do get a cavity in one of your molars, you have to have it filled with something stronger than a traditional filling. You may need an inlay or an onlay.
How Do Inlays and Onlays Work?
When you get a cavity in one of your molars, we first need to remove the cavity. If the hole left by the cavity is small, we can fill the cavity with composite material and then we seal the tooth. But if the cavity is large, we have to repair the hole with a strong material, stronger than composite.
Both inlays and onlays are made of either porcelain or composite. We recommend our patients use porcelain, because it lasts longer, is stronger than composite and looks the most like your natural teeth. Inlays and onlays are both cemented into your molar’s biting surface. When the cavity is on the biting surface of your tooth, but it is not on the cusp of your tooth, we use inlays. We use onlays if your cavity is on your molar cusp and the biting surface. If we do an inlay or an onlay, we will first have to take a tooth impression to get the perfect size to your inlay or onlay in order to cement it to your tooth. Once we have fashioned an onlay or an inlay, we then cement it into the hole left by your cavity.
If you have questions about inlays or onlays, or you want to find out more information, we can help. We have lots of information on which type of restorative technique would be best for your molar. That way, you’ll be able to bite down and chew your food without pain. Give Eric J. Sadler, DDS & Associates a call at (336) 331-5271, and let us schedule a consultation for you and your molar.