Imagine you have a very large cavity, or maybe your tooth was damaged in a traumatic injury. You probably expect your dentist to offer one of two restorative dental care options. If the tooth structure is strong enough, and the damage is small enough, you might get by with a filling. Otherwise, the tooth will probably be ground down, shaped, and fitted with a crown. Right? Not necessarily! Dr. Michael Tiplea of Allen Dental Studio in Allen, TX offers porcelain inlays and onlays, which are stronger than fillings and more conservative than crowns.
Benefits of inlays and onlays
A crown covers all sides of your tooth with a thick layer of beautiful porcelain. Of course, that means the tooth itself must be reduced in size to accommodate the crown. If a significant amount of its structure is already missing or compromised, then you aren’t losing much healthy material in the crown preparation process. However, when the damage is confined to one area, it would be a shame to remove the healthy part in order to make room for a crown. That is where inlays and onlays come in.
Inlays and onlays are very similar, with the only difference being the part of the tooth treated. If the damage includes one or more cusps (points) then an onlay is used. For smaller areas, an inlay is used. This is a great option for many reasons:
- Preserve the tooth structure while repairing the damage.
- Beautiful porcelain blends perfectly with the appearance of surrounding enamel.
- End pain and sensitivity caused by large cavities.
- Stop decay before it destroys the health of your tooth.
- High-quality materials can last for many years.
About the procedure
The process is like that of a dental crown, but much more conservative. Dr. Tiplea will begin by removing decayed, diseased, and otherwise damaged portions of the tooth. Next, he takes an impression, capturing the exact size and shape of the part that needs to be replaced. A temporary restoration is placed to protect the tooth while your permanent inlay or onlay is created. In the final appointment, the temporary is removed and your new restoration is cemented in place.If you are looking for a beautiful, healthy, conservative way to restore your teeth, ask Dr. Michael Tiplea if inlays or onlays are right for you. Call us at (469) 293-2007 for a consultation.