If you have a broken or damaged tooth, even if the issue seems small or isn’t causing pain, the problem will not go away on its own. In fact, things are bound to get more complex the longer you avoid getting a repair. If you’re concerned about invasive treatments, it pays to see your Manhattan Beach dentist at Beachside Smiles sooner rather than later. You are more likely to be a good candidate for inlays or onlays, non-invasive solutions that prevent the need for a porcelain crown.
The Basics of Dental Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are often compared to tooth-colored fillings or dental crowns in function, but placement and size allow them to stand alone as unique, conservative dental restorations. Here are some of the characteristics, similarities, and differences:
- Inlays are situated on top of the chewing area of a tooth, in between the cusps.
- Onlays (partial crowns) cover some of the chewing area of a tooth and one more of its cusps.
- Made of natural-looking composite resin or porcelain.
- Can repair teeth with mild or moderate tooth decay.
- Correct damaged or broken teeth.
Problems Fixed by an Inlay or Onlay
Not only are inlays and onlays non-invasive restorations, they are versatile and can repair multiple dental issues. When you need a quick repair for a minor problem, one of these two solutions can get the job done to fix:
- Old or deteriorating fillings
- Tooth decay
- Gapped teeth
- Chips or cracks
- Unstable tooth structure
- Discoloration or dullness
It’s not just acute problems like a cracked tooth or lost filling that demand immediate attention. Weak teeth that have yet to fall apart – but threaten to do so very soon – can get an inlay or onlay as a preventive treatment. Sometimes the smart choice is to prevent the development of a major oral health problem than to wait for it to happen.
Why You Should Consider an Inlay or Onlay
You might think your damaged tooth needs a porcelain crown, or you might feel your lost filling can be fixed with another tooth-colored filling. However, your Manhattan Beach dentist may inform you that an inlay or onlay is the most logical and helpful repair for your teeth, and here’s why:
- Preserves the problem tooth.
- Does not contract or expand with hot or cold temperatures.
- Requires minimal removal of natural tooth structure.
- Matches natural color of tooth enamel.
- Incredibly strong and curable.
- Can last for decades.
The CEREC Difference
Not every dental office is equipped with a CEREC machine, which creates restorations in-house for same-day repairs. At Beachside Smiles, we do offer this advantage, which means if you need an inlay or onlay, we can design and make it on-site so you don’t have to wait for a fix for your altered smile. If you qualify for this option, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:
- You do not have to wait days or weeks for a dental lab to create your inlays or onlays.
- 3D computer imaging is used to make the restorations, eliminating the need for impressions.
- Temporary fillings and multiple dental appointments are eliminated with a same-day repair.
- CEREC inlays and onlays are durable and stain resistant.
Is an Inlay or Onlay the Right Restoration for You?
If you have a problem tooth, schedule a consultation at Beachside Smiles and find out what’s happening, what kind of dental restorations are viable for your concerns, and what works with your comfort level and budget. An inlay or onlay might be just the treatment that restores your smile to full functionality and beauty. Even if it’s not, there is always a repair to fix what’s going on with your oral health. Contact us to schedule an appointment.