Sometimes we need repairs to be made to our teeth, due to decay or just general wear that comes with age. Sometimes teeth can be helped by a filling, which helps strengthen the inside of the tooth; sometimes a crown is needed, which goes over the top of the tooth to protect and strengthen it. A treatment which is, in some ways, between the two is inlays and onlays.
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays are in some ways similar to fillings, but they sit on the bumps on the surface of the tooth (the biting part). A dental onlay is slightly larger and can cover several small bumps on the tooth. Both can be used to help strengthen and preserve damaged teeth, as well as helping them to appear more uniform, giving you a better smile. They are made from porcelain – a strong material which can be made tooth-coloured easily – a composite material, or gold, and are bonded to the surface of the tooth. Porcelain is used most commonly used because of its strength and cosmetic properties. Once fitted, inlays and onlays do not need any special care, just regular good oral hygiene.
How are inlays and onlays fitted?
At Sparkle Dental Boutique near Brentford, inlays and onlays will be personally made in a laboratory for you, and so will need two visits. The decay will be cleaned from your tooth, and a mould taken. You will be fitted with a temporary filling while the inlay or onlay is being made. On the second visit, your tooth will be cleaned again, and the inlay or onlay cemented onto the tooth. It may then be reshaped slightly, or adjusted to fit your tooth. Once your inlay or onlay is fitted, you may feel that the tooth is slightly more sensitive than usual; this should pass, but if it persists, get in touch with your dentist again.