Damage to a tooth from decay can be extensive, which can mean that our dentists at Edgartown Dental Group will need to do a tooth restoration. A cavity on a larger tooth, such as a premolar or molar, can sometimes eat away at most of the tooth, making it difficult to fill the cavity. Instead of filling the cavities, some teeth may need inlays or onlays.
An inlay or onlay is a restoration piece that replaces part of a tooth with decay damage. An inlay lays between the cusps of the teeth where the crevices are, and an onlay fits over the entire top of the tooth over the cusps.
Our dentists in Edgartown, MA order these pieces from a dental lab after taking digital impressions of your teeth. Digital impressions are much more accurate than taking impressions with molds. The more accurate the impression, the better the fit the inlay or onlay is for your tooth.
Getting an inlay or onlay requires less tooth removal than a crown, which fits over the entire tooth. Only the part of the tooth with damage needs removing and replacing with the restoration from the lab. Inlays and onlays can consist of several materials, such as:
Most people want tooth-colored restorations, so ceramic and porcelain are favorite choices for many patients. However, since an inlay or onlay is often on the chewing teeth, the premolars or molars, these pieces need to take a lot of force due to biting and chewing food.
Our dentists at Edgartown Dental Group near you in Edgartown, MA can help you choose the best material for your inlay or onlay.
Once your inlay or onlay comes back from the lab, your dentist at Edgartown Dental Group will have you come in to attach it to your tooth. Many dentists in Edgartown, MA use a special resin that our dentist can harden with a special light. Other dentists may use permanent cement that keeps the restoration in place.
If part of your tooth requires removal due to decay, ask about getting an inlay or onlay rather than a crown so that you can keep more of your natural tooth.