Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays in Baltimore, MD

Most people have heard of or received a filling at some point in their life, but they are not the only options available to repair a tooth after decay. A popular solution is to install an inlay or onlay, which fills a cavity but also repairs the upper area of the tooth or the surrounding region when decay has spread. This is a form of restorative dentistry intended to improve the function and wellness of the teeth. People interested in inlays and onlays in Baltimore should consider them when seeking treatment for a damaged or decayed tooth.

What Is an Inlay?

An inlay is similar to a filling but is specially bonded to the interior and exterior of the tooth to help support its structure after decay has left damage. The bonding process can help improve the overall strength of the tooth, making it a great option. These inlays can be made of amalgam (silver), gold, or tooth-colored composite resin.

What Is an Onlay?

An onlay is similar to an inlay because it supports and fills the interior of the tooth, but this structure also sits on top and can replace missing cusps. Onlays are bonded yet again and can improve overall strength, but has the added benefit of creating new cusps and a firm chewing surface. These can once again be made of amalgam, gold, or composite resin.

The Procedure

Patients interested in an inlay or onlay need to schedule an appointment with a qualified dentist. The dentist needs to examine the tooth and remove decay. Sometimes the mouth will be numbed to prevent pain if the damaged interior soft pulp needs to be scraped out to prevent an infection. Once the interior is cleaned, it is sanitized.

With the tooth prepared, the tooth is then shaped. A mold is taken to make the inlay and onlay. The creation process can take up to two weeks, so patients will need to return for a second appointment. When they do, the inlay or onlay is bonded to the damaged tooth and ready for use after the appointment.

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