Inlays & Onlays
Great Falls, MT
Sometimes, a tooth suffers from decay or other damage that is simply too advanced to be restored with a basic filling. However, it’s also not extensive enough to require a full-coverage crown. In such instances, the best choice for repairing your tooth might be an inlay or onlay. Our goal at River's Edge Dental is to help you learn all you need to know on the subject before deciding whether this procedure is right for you. If you or a loved one have suffered damage to one or more teeth, don’t wait. You can make an appointment to discuss your options with Dr. David Currie and have all your questions answered by calling (406) 315-5882.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Both are "indirect" fillings. More specifically, they are manufactured outside the mouth before being cemented onto the tooth. This is fundamentally different from a "direct" filling, which is connected to a cavity in a single procedure. The term “inlay” applies to a pre-molded filling that is fitted within the small grooves of your tooth. It’s designed to not extend over the small points or “cusps” of your back (premolar or molar) tooth. We call it an "onlay" when it can be positioned inside at least one of these cusps. Onlays are also usually reserved for cases where oral damage has disrupted your biting surface. Whether you are having an inlay or only applied however, the process is the same.
Why Should I Get an Inlay or Onlay?
An inlay, onlay, or filling can all get your beautiful smile back to top shape while preventing future decay. Dr. David Currie will also be there to guide you through the procedure and help you choose which option is best for your particular case.
How is an Inlay Made?
An inlay is generally constructed from porcelain or composite resin (plastic) material, modeled to match the color of your natural teeth. In addition to restoring a proper chewing surface for when you eat, it provides nearly invisible results to make your tooth look good as new. The average dental inlay is tougher and more durable than typical fillings made from composite resin or amalgam (silver), gold being the most durable but consequently often the most expensive.
When Should I Get an Inlay?
If you experience damage to a tooth despite practicing healthy dental habits, an inlay may be your best option. Depending on the nature and extent of said damage, you may also be recommended an inlay instead of a common filling if your case meets the following criteria:
||Decayed, fractured, or broken teeth, provided the cusp of the tooth is unaffected.
||Damage is severe enough that a large filling could weaken your tooth’s remaining structure.
||The level of damage makes it impossible for what remains of the natural tooth to support the application of a crown.
Remember, if you have recently experienced severe damage to a tooth and are considering getting an inlay or onlay, schedule a visit to talk with us at (406) 315-5882 today.