Many adults may find it embarrassing to have a cavity, especially if it’s somewhere on their teeth where a filling is easy to see. However, instead of the silver amalgam fillings that dentists have used for decades, patients can opt for inlays or onlays that are the color of their natural teeth.
What are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays act the same as a filling in covering the damaged area of a tooth. They may consist of materials like porcelain, gold, or a composite resin. They usually go on the back teeth where you do most of the chewing because they are more susceptible to tooth decay since food particles can get stuck in the crevices of a tooth and decay.
One of our dentists at Kensington Dental Clinic in Edmonton, Alberta applies an inlay inside of the cusps on a tooth to cover an area they had to clean out due to tooth decay. An onlay is for a tooth that has more damage, such as one that broke due to chewing hard food and tooth decay. It goes on over one or more cusps of the tooth to replace the broken area and protect the rest of the tooth.
Replacing a Filling
If you have back teeth with fillings, you can replace them with inlays or onlays so that the silver amalgam doesn’t show when you smile or laugh, or because a filling has fallen out. To replace a missing filling, one of our experienced dentists at Kensington Dental Clinic will examine the tooth for further decay and clean it out if it’s present. Then, they can refill the tooth or give you the option of an inlay or onlay.
If you choose an inlay or onlay, you will need to go back for a second appointment as the dentist will measure your tooth after removing any decay that exists and cleaning it and order the restoration piece. After it comes back from the laboratory, our dentist in Edmonton, Alberta
will remove the temporary filling and cement the inlay or onlay in place.
Depending on the materials, a curing light may be needed to harden the adhesive so that the inlay or onlay stays in place. If you need to replace a filling or have a cavity filled, discuss inlays and onlays with your dentist so that your tooth looks natural.