Perhaps you’ve not visited the dentist recently and since your last check up you’ve spotted some decay, or part of a tooth is noticeably suffering. Now is the time to call our Belfast team to make an appointment. If decay has already set in and caused damage to the tooth, it may be that a filling is not sufficient. The next step to cover the damage and restore your tooth to its natural looking state is an onlay or inlay. Onlays and inlays bridge the gap between a small filling and the need to cover the tooth entirely with a crown, and will stop decay before it develops into something more serious.
The art of preserving your natural teeth
When it comes to dentistry, our experts work hard to maintain and keep your teeth as healthy as possible for as long as possible. The longer you can keep your natural teeth, the better it is for your overall oral health. Inlays and onlays are a method of preserving teeth which have been attacked by decay. While crowns are an option for damaged teeth, they often require your dentist to file down or remove a little of your existing tooth, in order for the sleeve to fit nicely over the top and stay in line with your existing teeth. Onlays and inlays fit onto your teeth in a way that maintains all or most of your current tooth structure.
Do I need an inlay or an onlay?
Larger cavities are best treated with inlays and onlays, as fillings simply won’t manage the damage. Inlays are very similar to fillings in that they close up a gap. An inlay sits inside your tooth, while an onlay is fitted to the outside of it and is usually used to build up any area of tooth damage or if your tooth has fractured. It is often the back teeth that require this kind of attention, as the surfaces of the ‘chewing’ teeth are particularly vulnerable to developing cavities.
You may also have an amalgam (silver) filling that you would like replaced with a more natural coloured onlay or inlay. Our Cavehill Dental & Implant Clinic dentists can remove old fillings, clean out any existing decay and replace unsightly dark patches with a more natural looking treatment.
What are onlays and inlays made from?
Like fillings, inlays and onlays are usually made from porcelain or composite resin to blend naturally with the rest of your teeth and provide lasting strength and reinforcement to your otherwise damaged tooth. It is possible to get gold and amalgam inlays and onlays, however composite resin and porcelain choices make for a solution that is hardly noticeable.
How long does an onlay or inlay take to fit?
Treatments will take two appointments as the carefully moulded part to replace your tooth needs to be crafted in a dental laboratory. On your first visit, your Belfast dentist will take a mould of the tooth, which will be used to create the inlay or onlay. Your finished inlay or onlay will then be carefully fitted during your second appointment.
Do you need to book a check up? Early detection of decay is the best way to treat it. Contact Cavehill Dental & Implant Clinic in Belfast on 028 9037 0206 today to make an appointment.