For patients in Knoxville, inlays, onlays, and dental crowns may be used in the treatment of tooth decay. Inlays and onlays are used in the treatment of rear teeth that have been damaged by decay. When rear teeth are too damaged for a traditional filling, but have not suffered enough damage to require a dental crown, inlays and onlays may be used. Because inlays and onlays are made out of tooth-colored material, once placed they become virtually undetectable. Aesthetically pleasing, inlays and onlays can effectively restore the health and function of the teeth, while also blending in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth.
What Is Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is the process in which dental caries (cavities) form. Tooth decay occurs when acids in the mouth eat away at the surfaces of the teeth. Over time, this process results in the formation of a cavity.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored dental restorations, usually made out of resin materials or porcelain, used to restore rear teeth that have mild to moderate decay. Inlays and onlays may also reduce tooth sensitivity and prevent the loss of a damaged tooth due to decay.
Damage and decay lying within the indented top surfaces of teeth, between the cusps, are treated with inlays. Damage or decay extending to one or more of the cusps of the teeth are treated with onlays. Inlays and onlays are incredibly strong and long-lasting dental restorations.
Inlays and Onlays Uses
Uses of inlays and onlays include:
- To repair rear teeth with mild to moderate decay
- To repair chips and cracks in teeth that are not damaged enough to need dental crowns
- To replace amalgam fillings
- To eliminate tooth sensitivity
Inlays and Onlays Placement
Knoxville cosmetic dentist Thomas G. Zarger, Jr., will make an impression of the decayed tooth. Once this is done, a temporary inlay or onlay is then placed over the tooth. The impression is taken to a dental laboratory where a dental technician will make an inlay or onlay to your tooth’s specifications. When you return to our Knoxville dental office, we will remove the temporary inlay or onlay, and securely place the permanent inlay or onlay onto the tooth.
For teeth that are too damaged for inlays and onlays, dental crowns may be used. Dental crowns are “caps” that are placed over the visible portion of a tooth, including below and at the gum line, to restore its appearance, shape, size, and strength. These “caps” provide protection and restore strength to damaged or decayed teeth. Dental crowns may be used in the reinforcement of teeth that are weakened from decay and teeth that have cracks or chips. Another benefit for our patients in Knoxville, dental crowns may be used in the preservation of the otherwise healthy tooth structures within damaged or decayed teeth.
Contact Thomas G. Zarger Jr., D.D.S., P.C. Today
To learn more about the many benefits and uses of inlays and onlays and to schedule an examination, please contact our Knoxville cosmetic dentistry practice today.