Inlays and onlays are dental appliances made of porcelain, gold or composite resin that are bonded directly to the damaged area of a tooth. The dentists at Higson Dental Group will generally use them when more than half of a tooth’s biting surface is damaged. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is placed inside the cusp tips of a tooth. An onlay is a larger reconstruction, extending over one or more of a tooth’s cusps. Gold has typically been the material of choice for inlays and onlays, but in recent years, porcelain has become more popular thanks to its strength and natural color.
An inlay or onlay procedure requires two appointments to complete. During the first visit, the dentist will remove the damaged area of the tooth or filling, and the tooth will be prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure a proper bite and fit, the dentist will make an impression of the tooth and send it to the lab for fabrication. A temporary sealant is then applied to the tooth.
At the second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed. Drs. Higson and Schamehorn will test fit the inlay or onlay, and if it is satisfactory, a strong resin will be used to bond the appliance to the tooth. It will then be polished smooth.
Traditional fillings can often reduce a natural tooth’s strength by 50 percent. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, which are bonded directly onto the tooth using high-strength resins, can increase a tooth’s strength by up to 75 percent. In cases where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to qualify for a crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative, and they can last for 10 to 30 years.
The dentists at Higson Dental Group are happy to meet with you if you have questions about inlays or onlays in Grande Prairie and its surrounding areas, and we are always accepting new patients. Visit our contact page or call us at 780-532-4661 to schedule an appointment.
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