Conservatively Restore Form and Function with Inlays and Onlays
Dr. G.J. Palmieri and his experienced staff are committed to delivering conservative treatments that preserve the maximum amount of healthy dental tissue. We offer inlays and onlays at our Lancaster, PA, office to repair teeth that have mild to moderate decay and other damage. When a filling will not adequately restore your tooth, but a dental crown would be excessive, Dr. Palmieri may recommend an inlay or onlay. These dental restorations are used when more than half of the chewing surface is decayed or damaged. These types of restorations can be made of natural-looking dental porcelain to match your tooth color, providing both practical and aesthetic benefits.
Understanding the Difference Between Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are designed to repair the chewing surface of a tooth following treatment for decay or damage. In this sense, inlays share similarities with fillings. However, while fillings can only replace small portions of a tooth, inlays and onlays can replace larger areas.
When a filling will not adequately restore your tooth, but a dental crown would be excessive, Dr. Palmieri may recommend an inlay or onlay.
More specifically, an inlay is used to repair damage within the cusps, or top projections, of a tooth. When decay and damage extend beyond one or more cusps, an onlay is necessary. Inlays can also be used to replace old metal fillings, and both restorations can be made to provide natural-looking results as well as structural support.
Placing the Restoration
To complete an inlay or onlay procedure, one to two office visits are required. During the first appointment, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic, and treat the affected tooth. Next, your dentist will make an impression of your tooth, which will guide laboratory technicians in creating your restoration. A temporary inlay or onlay will be placed on your tooth until your next visit. For patients with heightened anxiety or difficulty sitting in the dentist's chair, we offer sedation to help you relax during your treatment.
During your second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary restoration and place the permanent inlay or onlay on your tooth using a special bonding agent. Your restoration is then adjusted and polished for a comfortable bite and smooth finish. Once your restoration is in place, you can expect a balanced bite that allows you to chew properly.
Results and Benefits
Inlays and onlays are an excellent method to prevent decay, as well as restore the strength and integrity of weakened teeth. These types of restorations offer a natural look due to the color-matching abilities and natural sparkle of porcelain. In addition, they offer a much better fit than metal fillings. Metal fillings expand or contract when exposed to heat and cold, which can cause fractures over time. Porcelain restorations experience virtually no fluctuation, making them a much better long-term solution.
Contact Us to Learn More
Dr. Palmieri offers comprehensive care in two convenient locations. If you are interested in learning more about how inlays and onlays can benefit the health and appearance of your smile, contact our office today.