While fillings are seen as the ‘go to’ solution to resolve decaying teeth there is another option – an inlay or onlay.
Fillings are the ideal solution to treating holes in the teeth that have been caused by decay. A dentist will work to clear the damaged area of the tooth before neatly filling the cavity with amalgam or composite material.
If a large area of the tooth has been affected, however, it may be that an inlay is used to repair the damage and protect the tooth.
Protecting back teeth
This is particularly the case when one of the larger back teeth is damaged. Rather than drill into the tooth to fit a large filling a dentist will instead fit an inlay over the top.
Inlays are used when the cusp of the tooth remains undamaged, covering the biting surface to protect it from further damage.
While a filling sees the dentist remove any broken or decayed parts of the tooth immediately before filling the cavity, inlays are created away from the patient.
As inlays are being used to repair larger areas the dentist will clear the affected part of the tooth and take an impression for the inlay to be created from.
This will then be bonded into place at a later date, forming a protective and durable layer to treat the damaged tooth.
Protecting the tooth for the future
If the outer ridges of the tooth have been damaged dentists can use an onlay to repair it.
This is a step short of a crown with the onlay being fitted over the damaged part of the tooth to cover the damaged area and protect the tooth from further damage.
Inlays and onlays are very hardwearing and achieve an excellent natural finish making them ideal for discreetly treating a large area of the mouth.
If you are concerned about tooth decay contact Bhandal Dental Surgery.
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