Inlays or Onlays are typically used by San Ramon Dentist Dr. Khandaqji, DDS when cavities have become too severe to be treated with traditional fillings. The difference between an onlay and inlay is determined by the positioning of the damage in regards to the chewing surface of the tooth. If the damage is restricted to within the depression surface of the tooth (within the cusps) it is an inlay. If more extensive damage has progressed and the cusps must be recreated, it becomes an onlay.
Inlays and onlays at Mona Lisa Smile Dental can be created using gold, porcelain, or a composite resin colored to match your natural tooth. The latter two options are the most popular today due to their aesthetic appearance, but gold is still one of the strongest options. These cosmetic restorations are a two-step process. First the tooth is prepared by removing decay or old materials then an impression is taken of the affected area. The impression molds are sent to a dental laboratory where a skilled technician fabricates the restoration. At the next appointment the inlay or onlay is cemented into place.
Cosmetic dentistry by Dr. Mohammad Khandaqji, DDS using inlays and onlays are used to restore a decayed or damaged tooth to its original condition and can actually strengthen it. They are a more conservative approach than a dental crown because they don’t involve the removal of healthy tooth structure. For this reason inlays and onlays are considered a minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry treatment and for many dentists and patients is a much better choice. A crown, although not a bad procedure, involves the removal of more healthy tooth structure than needed and can increase the risk of tooth fracture and the need for a root canal treatment.
Ideal candidates for inlay or onlay work typically have too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to be successfully treated using a filling, but have sufficient healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. This allows the dentist to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure.
There are other benefits to inlays and onlays in comparison to metal fillings: Cosmetic dentistry Inlays and onlays are durable — they’re made from tough, hard-wearing materials which last up to 30 years.
They help to strengthen teeth by up to 75 percent, unlike traditional metal fillings which can actually reduce the strength of the teeth by up to 50 percent. Inlays and onlays prolong tooth life and prevent the need for more dental treatment in the future.