Elevate Your Smile with Dental Inlays and Onlays
Gentle Family Dentistry, under the care of Bakersfield cosmetic dentist, Dr. Johnathan H. Garger, is your destination for comprehensive dental solutions. Among the many services offered, dental inlays and onlays stand out as transformative treatments that can breathe new life into your smile. In this in-depth guide, Dr. Garger explains dental inlays and onlays and what they can do for your smile.
What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
Dental inlays and onlays, sometimes referred to as partial crowns or indirect fillings, are custom-made restorations used to repair teeth damaged by decay or injury. Unlike standard dental fillings, which address small to moderate cavities, and dental crowns that provide full tooth protection, inlays and onlays are used to cover just a portion of the tooth.
Dental inlays and onlays are well-suited for addressing various dental concerns, including:
- Large cavities that exceed the capacity of conventional fillings but don’t require crowns
- Fractured or chipped teeth
- Teeth with worn or deteriorated fillings
- Mild to moderate tooth decay
- Cosmetic enhancements to improve the appearance of teeth
Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays offer many benefits to those looking to improve their smile, some of which include:
- Preservation of Natural Tooth Structure: Inlays and onlays enable the conservation of a significant portion of the natural tooth, promoting long-term oral health.
- Durability: Fabricated from sturdy materials, they can withstand normal chewing forces, ensuring lasting results.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Custom-made to match your natural tooth color and shape, inlays and onlays seamlessly blend in for an attractive smile.
- Reduced Tooth Sensitivity: Unlike conventional silver fillings, inlays and onlays often minimize tooth sensitivity, making them an excellent choice for individuals with sensitive teeth.
Who Qualifies For Dental Inlays and Onlays?
You may qualify for inlays and onlays if any of the following apply to you:
- Moderate Tooth Damage: Individuals with moderate tooth damage due to decay, fractures, or old fillings are often candidates for dental inlays and onlays. These restorations can effectively address these issues without the need for a full crown.
- Sufficient Tooth Structure: To qualify, patients should have enough healthy tooth structure remaining to support the placement of inlays and onlays. This means the tooth should not be severely compromised or weakened.
- Non-Smokers: While not an absolute requirement, non-smokers often have better success with inlays and onlays. Smoking can increase the risk of complications and discoloration of restorations over time.
- Good Oral Hygiene Habits: Candidates should maintain good oral hygiene practices, including regular brushing and flossing, to ensure the longevity of their inlays and onlays.
- No Severe Tooth Grinding: Patients without severe teeth grinding (bruxism) issues are better candidates, as grinding can put excessive stress on the restorations.
The Dental Inlays and Onlays Process
Your journey with Gentle Family Dentistry begins with an initial consultation with Dr. Garger. During this visit, your oral health will be evaluated, and it will be determined whether inlays or onlays are suitable for your specific needs. Dr. Garger will discuss the treatment plan, materials, and anticipated outcomes with you.
Following the consultation, precise impressions and digital scans of your teeth will be taken. These measurements are sent to a dental laboratory where your custom inlay or onlay is meticulously crafted to match the unique contours of your teeth.
To prepare the tooth for an inlay or onlay, a minimal amount of damaged or decayed tooth structure is removed, creating space for the restoration. Unlike crowns, which necessitate more tooth reduction, inlays and onlays require minimal alteration.
Temporary Restoration (If Needed)
While awaiting the completion of your custom inlay or onlay, a temporary restoration may be provided to safeguard the tooth. This will help protect your teeth and can serve as a good “test run”, allowing you to make further changes to the final design based on how your temporaries feel.
Once your tailored inlay or onlay is ready, typically within a few weeks, you will return to Gentle Family Dentistry for its placement. Dr. Garger will ensure a precise fit, bond the restoration to your tooth, and make any necessary adjustments for comfort and aesthetics.
Aftercare for Dental Inlays and Onlays
Proper aftercare is essential to preserve the longevity and efficacy of your inlays and onlays. Here’s how to maintain your beautiful smile:
- Oral Hygiene: Maintain your regular oral hygiene regimen, including daily brushing and flossing.
- Avoid Hard Foods: Exercise caution with very hard or sticky foods that could potentially damage your restoration.
- Regular Checkups: Schedule and attend routine dental checkups to monitor the condition of your inlays and onlays.
- Teeth Grinding: If you grind your teeth at night, consider using a nightguard to safeguard your restorations.
- Dietary Choices: Limit the consumption of staining foods and beverages to prevent discoloration.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dental inlays and onlays are typically recommended for adults, as children’s dental needs are often distinct due to ongoing tooth development. However, there may be exceptional cases where they are considered for older teenagers with specific dental issues.
Dental insurance coverage for inlays and onlays can vary depending on your specific plan. It’s advisable to check with your insurance provider to ascertain your coverage.
Inlays and onlays are often used for molars and premolars due to their durability and strength. However, they can also be used on front teeth when aesthetics and functionality are a concern.
With proper care and maintenance, dental inlays and onlays can last for 10 to 15 years. Regular dental checkups are key to ensuring their long-lasting effectiveness.
Transform Your Smile with Dental Inlays and Onlays
If you’re interested in rejuvenating your smile with inlays or onlays, reach out to Gentle Family Dentistry at 661-664-9900 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Garger. You can also fill out and submit the online contact form below and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly. Your journey to a healthier, more radiant smile starts here. Gentle Family Dentistry proudly serves patients from Bakersfield and surrounding areas such as Gosford, Alameda, and Lakeview, CA.