No matter how well you take care of your teeth throughout your lifetime, it’s likely that at some point you will get a cavity. The situation can be caused by a variety of reasons, including poor hygiene habits, consuming too many sweet or acidic foods and drinks, and failure to visit your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups.
Cavities are a common concern in Great Neck, Briarwood, and New York in general. We recognize that, and we give our patients a range of options for repairing them. One of the more popular choices is inlays and onlays. With this approach, individuals can replace their damaged tooth center with state-of-the-art material that’s custom-made in a partnering lab. Inlays and onlays are molded to specially fit the grooves of your teeth, so once they are in place, you’ll hardly even notice that they’re there!
The Steps in Receiving an Inlay or Onlay
Inlays are used when there is minor damage to the existing tooth, while onlays are reserved for more extensive troubles, where cavities run deep. Inlays are used to fill in a tooth center, stopping at the top, and onlays usually are placed on the cusp, or biting area, of your tooth, in addition to the center. During your exam, we can discuss the extent of your damaged teeth and evaluate which option is best for your personal situation.
The first step in receiving an inlay or an onlay is removing cavitated tooth tissue. Although the process might seem a little intimidating, it’s important to keep in mind that a local anesthetic will be applied to eliminate any pain and discomfort you may experience during the procedure. Next, we will take an impression of your tooth and fill in your hollowed-out cavity with a temporary filling to prevent sensitivity or additional decay as you go about your day-to-day before your next appointment.
Your second appointment is the most exciting one! During that time, we will place your customized inlay or onlay so that you can be on your way with your new smile! Your inlays and onlays will be cemented into place to ensure a tight, long-lasting fit. While rare, if you notice any movement or abnormal pain in the following weeks, we will set up an additional appointment to evaluate any potential placement issues and treat them accordingly.
Inlays and onlays aren’t just for new cavities. In the past, many dentists used a filling mixture to repair and replace damage. Often, this mixture included mercury and other metals. In recent years, some individuals and professionals have expressed concern about mercury fillings and their potential to leak. Inlays and onlays can be used as a replacement option for these older filling materials. During routine checkups, we can evaluate your situation to look for damaged or cracked metal fillings and best understand if a replacement is immediately needed or might be needed down the line.
Benefits of Receiving Inlays and Onlays
There are many benefits to choosing inlays and onlays. First and foremost, they are structurally sound. Each patient is individual and their situation is unique, but you can expect your inlay or onlay to last for decades with no trouble. That’s partially because they are created to be more resistant to fractures and damage than traditional fillings. There are even reports that inlays and onlays can increase your tooth strength by up to 75%. That’s a big jump!
Inlays and onlays are also discreet. Think about cavity fillings from the past. Many were made of metal and could be noticeable while smiling or talking. Modern inlays and onlays avoid that noticeability because they are tinted to match a tooth’s natural shade. In fact, during your initial consultation, we can discuss the shading that you would prefer to be used in your mouth.
After your procedure, it’s important that you take great care of your inlays and onlays, as well as continue to look after your teeth and mouth in general. This includes regular brushing and flossing, as well as watching what you eat and drink. You should also avoid smoking, for both your oral health and your overall health. If you have questions about how to best brush your teeth or care for your mouth, be sure to bring it up during your next appointment!
Contact Cohen Dental Care Today to Learn More About Your Inlay or Onlay
If you’re ready to learn more about inlays and onlays, we’re here to help! Simply give us a call or fill out a contact information form to speak with a professional who wants you to have your dream smile!