If the last time you had a filling involved an unattractive silver filling, you may be surprised to learn how far restorative dentistry has come since then. Modern day dental restorations include treatments such as inlays and onlays, which are both a restorative and a cosmetic dentistry procedure. Learn more about from our Kailua-Kona inlays and onlays specialist.
Inlays and Onlays: What are they?
Both inlays and onlays are small porcelain appliances that are meant to fit over your tooth. However, each provides a different function. Inlays are used to replace tooth matter that has decayed or been chipped, and fits over the cusp of the tooth. Onlays are designed to cover the entire top of the tooth, which is usually necessary for a tooth with severe damage or decay, but that still has a good foundation.
Inlays and Onlays: Who is a candidate?
If you can have a standard filling, you can almost always have an inlay or onlay. They serve the same purpose, filling in and covering the hole left by a cavity. The only thing that could stop a patient from receiving an inlay or onlay would be a lack of sufficient tooth structure to support the inlay or onlay.
If there is not enough tooth structure to support these restorative dentistry appliances, you may be better off with a dental crown, which covers the entire tooth all the way around from the root down.
Inlays and Onlays: Aftercare
After receiving an inlay or an onlay, it is important to avoid very sticky foods and very crunchy foods as much as you can. Both of these can damage the inlay or onlay. Good oral hygiene is also very important. With the right care, an inlay or onlay can last for over a decade.