When you have a damaged tooth, you have several cosmetic dental solutions to choose from. You can opt for dental fillings, crowns, or tooth inlays and onlays. For patients who have lost more than half of their tooth structure, dental inlays and onlays provide a much more effective and lasting treatment.
Besides repairing your damaged tooth, inlays and onlays protect your tooth against further damage. They are also very long-lasting and can last for up to 30 years if well cared for. Besides, they add strength to your tooth, restoring up to 75% of its natural strength and functionality.
When you visit your dentist, they will examine your mouth to determine whether you’re eligible for a dental inlay or onlay procedure. Your dentist is most likely to recommend a tooth inlay or onlay if you have severe tooth decay or a damaged tooth that can’t be repaired using a filling. If fitted well and in time, dental inlays and onlays can save your tooth, preventing the need for tooth extraction and additional dental procedures in the future.
A dental inlay or onlay procedure is performed in a dental practice. While the process may vary based on the type of inlays and onlays, it typically involves the following steps:
Dental inlays and onlays are categorized into two types: direct and indirect.
Direct inlays and onlays are made in your dentist’s office and are usually fitted in a single appointment.
Indirect inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory setting. On the first day of the procedure, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and sends it to a laboratory to create the permanent inlay or onlay. The permanent inlay or onlay is then fitted during a second appointment.
During the procedure, the dentist will numb the area so that you won’t feel any pain. However, after the anesthetic wears off, you may feel minimal pain and discomfort in the mouth. Your dentist may give you painkillers to manage the discomfort. Immediately contact your dentist if the discomfort persists, even after taking medication.
Getting an inlay or onlay is considered safe with very minimal side effects and risks. In rare cases, complications may develop, either during the procedure or recovery. These may include:
Ready to restore your dental health with inlays or onlays? Schedule your consultation today with Wellesley Dental Arts.