When a tooth has damage that is too extensive to be treated using traditional dental fillings but may not be serious enough to need the cover of a complete dental crown, an inlay or onlay is often the best option for restoring both look and functionality.
Traditional dental fillings are applied directly to the tooth. In contrast, inlays and onlays are considered indirect fillings, as they are made outside the mouth and then attached to the affected tooth. Inlay restorations are used to fit damage between the cusps or pointed parts of the tooth (the back molars or premolars). An onlay is used for more significant damage and covers one or more cusps.
The procedure of placing an inlay or onlay involves less removal of natural tooth structure than a crown, making them a more conservative form of treatment. The procedure starts with the administration of local anesthesia to numb the area. This helps in preventing the sensation of pain during the procedure. Next, any existing decay is removed from the tooth, and an impression is taken. This impression is sent to our in-house laboratory to prepare your restoration. Once your custom-made inlay or onlay is ready, the restoration is attached to the tooth.
Inlays and onlays are long-lasting, strong restorations that do not require a great level of maintenance apart from regular oral hygiene. If you wish to restore your teeth and want to know if an inlay or onlay is the right option, contact the office of Midwest Family Dental Care for a consultation. You can call us at (616) 229-0269. Our practice has convenient offices in Grand Rapids, Jenison and Kalamazoo, Michigan.