Inlays: When You Need to Fix a Cavity | Northridge Dentist

When a dentist removes decay, the void left by drilling must be filled with something to provide a proper bite surface and a pleasing aesthetic appearance. When patients have cavities on teeth with large bite surfaces, they’re often offered a choice in the way the cavity is treated. While composite fillings are very common, occasionally dentists will recommend synthetic resins bonded onto teeth, or inlays.

Inlays serve a similar purpose to composite fillings, but do so in a different way. Where a composite filling is bonded onto the tooth, an inlay is a lab-created restoration cemented into place. The inlays are made of a much stronger material, and are molded to perfectly match the natural tooth curves. However, dentists will need to remove much more tooth material to get an inlay in place. The larger the decay, the more likely it is the dentist will recommend an inlay, as the inlay will be able to provide more strength for the weakened tooth than the softer composite resin.

If your dentist recommends inlays, rest assured that they’re typically a great way to add strength to a tooth that has been weakened by decay. While inlays aren’t as strong as a procedure such as a dental crown, they’re significantly stronger than composite fillings and provide a great visual match with natural teeth. If you have questions about the procedure, call your dentist – they’ll be happy to explain the pros and cons, and what you can expect during the process.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt, DDS by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

Dr. Lunt gladly accepts patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Inlays & Onlays | Northridge, Ca Dentist

176997237If you have a tooth or teeth damaged from decay, inlays and onlays may be a viable dental solution for you!

Inlays and onlays are the ideal dental restorations needed to repair damaged teeth, not only improving your oral hygiene, but enhancing the look of your smile.  Dental inlays and onlays are used when old fillings need to be removed or replaced. A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth. Both will rejuvenate your smile! Dr. Middleton can also use inlays and onlays to replace dark, old dental restorations that can look unappealing.

Inlays or onlays can be made of gold, composite resin or ceramics. They can last for 10 years or longer. How long they last depends on:

  • The material used
  • The teeth involved
  • The forces of chewing
  • How well you maintain them with good oral hygiene and regular visits to a dentist

How it’s done:  

There are two types of inlays and onlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are made in the dental office. They are placed in one visit. Indirect inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory. Two visits are needed to place them. The type your dentist will use depends on how much of the tooth is left.

Watch this informative video on Inlays and Onlays:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5Wu8_MCnJs (Source: YouTube)

Indirect Inlays and Onlays

Dental decay will be removed. Then your dentist will make an impression of the prepared tooth and neighboring teeth. The tooth will get a temporary filling. The impression will be sent to a laboratory, which will make the inlay or onlay.

At your second visit, your dentist will take out the temporary filling and clean and dry the tooth. He or she will then cement the inlay or onlay to the tooth. Then it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together. A dental inlay or onlay is bigger than a filling and smaller than a crown. It is bonded or cemented into place.

An inlay is similar to a filling, but it lies within the cusps on the chewing surface of your tooth. An onlay is larger than an inlay. It replaces one or more decayed cusps.

Direct Inlays and Onlays

Your dentist will remove the decay and shape the tooth. He or she will put a soft material called composite resin on the tooth. The composite resin is molded to fit the tooth. The inlay is removed and hardened in a special oven. Then, your dentist will cement the hardened inlay to your tooth. After the inlay is cemented, it will be polished. Your dentist may have to shape it slightly to adjust the way your teeth come together.

Dr. Lunt will be able to determine whether or not inlays and onlays will be right for your situation.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.