Inlays and Onlays are they right for me?
Like an old plaster cast or pair of crutches covered in the colorful signatures of former classmates, a mouth full of silver amalgam fillings used to be a symbol of childhood dental rights of passage, at least up until a decade or two ago. Advances in cosmetic dentistry have made it possible to fix one or many cavities with tooth colored fillings that can fool everyone into thinking that you and your family have the healthiest teeth and oral hygiene habits in town!
While it is possible to have older silver fillings replaced for cosmetic reasons, it may not be practical or necessary for every person. However, some metallic dental fillings can become damaged over time, and require removal or replacement to protect the health of the remaining tooth.
What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
In addition to replacing old metal fillings, inlays and onlays are dental restorations used to repair mild to moderate chips, cracks, decay, or damage to the rear teeth. They are most often used when the damage to the tooth is too extensive for a traditional filling, but not severe enough to require a crown. Like fillings, inlays fit over the top edges of the tooth (cusp tips). Onlays are used for more extensive damage, and fit over the edges of the tooth. They are designed using a composite of the tooth, and are typically made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin.
Benefits of Tooth Repair with Inlays and Onlays
- Inlays and onlays allow the dentist to preserve the remaining healthy tooth, as they do not require shaving down a portion of the tooth to properly fit, like with crowns
- Durability - They are made to last up to 30 years
- Inlays and onlays can actually strengthen and preserve tooth health, unlike fillings which can actually degrade the tooth over time
- They can help to prevent the need for further dental work and treatment in the future
Dentist in San Jose
To learn if you are a candidate for dental inlays and onlays, contact Sikka Dental at (408) 259-1280 to schedule a consultation today!