Inlays & Onlays
Mercer Island, WA
Cavities are very common dental issues. While they are typically associated with children, cavities can affect individuals of all ages. Most cavities can be treated with a filling. However, cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars often present more significant complications. At Goichi Shiotsu, DDS, we can treat these more difficult cavities with inlays and onlays.
Most cavities can be treated with dental fillings. There are two types, amalgam, and composite. Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals suspended in mercury. They are incredibly strong and can stand up to significant biting and chewing pressure. Composite fillings are made up of a mixture of plastic, fine glass, and other materials. These fillings are tooth colored and provide incredible aesthetic results.
Inlays and Onlays
While fillings are effective in many situations, they can cause problems when used for cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars. Amalgam fillings can be driven deeper into the tooth by chewing forces, causing the tooth to split. A composite filling may not be able to stand up to the pressure on your molars, which can cause them to wear out faster or shatter.
Inlays and onlays are a type of filling known as an indirect filling. This is one that is created in a dental lab using an impression of your tooth instead of being cured inside of it. These types of fillings are designed to strengthen molars affected by cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars. An inlay is a restoration that is used to treat cavities in the crevices of your molar, and typically treats smaller amounts of decay.
An onlay also called a partial dental crown, is used when the cusps of your molar are also affected. In addition to restoring the health of a tooth, an onlay also functions to rebuild its structure. Inlays and onlays can be made from many materials. Porcelain inlays and onlays tend to be the most popular choice, due to its aesthetic benefits.
Getting Your Inlay or Onlay
The process for placing an inlay or onlay takes two appointments. During your first appointment, we clean the affected tooth and drill away the decay. This is no different from the process for placing a traditional filling. After the decay has been removed, we take an impression of your tooth. The impression is sent to our dental lab, where it is used to design and create your custom indirect filling. Once complete, you have your second appointment. At this appointment, we check your inlay or onlay for fit and a natural bite and bond it into the cavity.
What are the Benefits of Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays provide many benefits, including
||Strengthening the tooth.
||Restoring your oral health.
||Preserving more of your natural tooth. We do not need to drill away as much of your tooth structure.
||Affordability. Inlays and onlays are both more affordable, and less invasive, than a crown.
Inlays and onlays are effective for treating cavities on the chewing surfaces of your molars and restoring your oral health. Call Goichi Shiotsu, DDS today for more information, and to schedule your appointment, at (206) 232-3600.