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Inlays and Onlays


Are cavities and tooth decay creating constant discomfort for you? If yes, then worry no more because Northstar Dental provides inlays and onlays, which is an effective method used in treating such conditions. This may be the first time you have heard of inlays and onlays because fillings an crowns are much more common. However, this method is just as effective and serves it's own unique purpose.

This method is also referred to as indirect fillings and offers multiple benefits compared to the other methods due to its conservative approach. In traditional procedures, the dental fillings molding will take place inside the mouth. In contrast, fabrication for inlays and onlays will take place in a dental laboratory.

The word inlay is used if the restoration is used within the center of the tooth, or covers less than one cusp of the tooth. On the other hand, an onlay will be used in two instances — one, where the patient requires the entire biting surface covered, and if the damage requires multiple cusps.

The Procedure


Often, inlays and onlays require a maximum of two visits to complete. In the first visit, we will prepare the area around the damaged tooth and the tooth itself. Afterward, we will make an impression of the affected tooth and send it to our dental laboratory for fabrication.

At this point, you’ll have the liberty to choose the type of material you prefer for the inlays and onlays. There are three materials to choose from, resin, porcelain, and gold. The difference in these materials comes in the appearance after the restoration, and our dentists will recommend the best material to use. If aesthetics is your main concern, then porcelain is the best. Resin is recommended for people with grinding or misaligned teeth. Gold, on the other hand, is best for molars or hidden areas.

As you wait for your inlays and onlays, we will provide you with temporary restorations whose main purpose to cover the area and protect it from infection. In the second visit, our dentists will remove the temporary restorations and fit the inlay or onlay.

While these restorations are stable, we will still have to counter-check the margins to make sure they are smooth and fit well. Sometimes, occlusion problems may affect the margins, and checking your bite is one way to ensure this doesn’t happen. After fitting, our dentists will bond the restoration to the tooth and polish the margins for a finer look.

The Benefits


Since this procedure takes a conservative approach, there are plenty of benefits involved. For example, you’ll get a perfect fit, especially for those with light to relative tooth decay. Also, you’ll have an easy time cleaning your teeth thanks to the perfect fit compared to dental crowns.

The other advantage of inlays and onlays is strength and durability. This means they’ll last longer. Moreover, this procedure is perfect for patients with cavities located between teeth. Instead of using a composite filling, inlays and onlays offer better sealing which locks out bacteria.

Do you still need more information about inlays and onlays? Well, don’t hesitate to contact Northstar Dental at (303) 481-3901 any time.
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