Inlays and Onlays

Inlays & Onlays in Westwood

One of the most important types of dentistry practiced here at Starry Dental,  is restorative. Restorative dentistry focuses on repairing the teeth following damage and decay so individuals can return to their regular activities like chewing, eating, and speaking. Any individual could require restorative dentistry, but the most common candidates are those who struggle to maintain proper oral hygiene. To combat decay, dentists use a variety of methods. One of the most reliable is the installation of inlays and onlays.

Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are synthetic components that can be made of a variety of materials, but the most popular is composite resin that matches the color of the teeth. These pieces are installed directly in or on a tooth that has decayed and is missing part of its enamel or soft pulp. There is a difference between the two pieces. An inlay goes inside the tooth, while an onlay typically sits on top and covers part of the cusps.

The Procedure

Like any other procedure, the first step to getting this form of restorative dentistry is to make an appointment for an exam. A qualified dentist will perform and visual and tactile exam to see the extent of decay in and around a tooth. If the tooth can be saved, then the dentist will most likely recommend an inlay or onlay to protect the soft pulp and replace the missing enamel.

Once the procedure has been chosen, the decayed pulp inside of a tooth needs to be removed. The tooth and nearby gums are often numbed, since the tooth has a tender interior nerve that can be inflamed or irritated. Using specialized tools, the decayed pulp is removed. The interior of the tooth is then sanitized to prevent future infection.

A mold is taken of the tooth so that the inlay or onlay can be created. Patients might need to return to have the device installed using a specialized concrete. Alternatively, the appliance can be made by using a liquid resin that then dries into the correct shape. Either way, the patient receives a new, healthier tooth.

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