An Alternative to Fillings and Dental Crowns
Dental decay and damage can make chewing and other everyday tasks more difficult. While a traditional dental filling can address most cases of mild to moderate decay, inlays and onlays can restore teeth damaged by cracks, fractures, or large cavities. They are a less invasive alternative to dental crowns, which require extensive modification to the affected tooth. Dr. Stephen J. Malki uses Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEREC® technology, to fabricate and place custom inlays and onlays in a single appointment at his practice serving Bergen County, NJ, and the surrounding areas.
A Closer Look at Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored restorations that fit inside a molar much like a puzzle piece. An inlay or onlay is typically the appropriate treatment option if you have damage that is too extensive for a filling but too minimal for a dental crown.
These restorations function similarly to traditional dental fillings, but differ in the materials used to make them and in the size of the area they treat. Fillings are made from composite resin while inlays and onlays are made from porcelain and can be used to cover a larger area than fillings. Like dental crowns, inlays and onlays are made with porcelain. However, they do not cover the entire surface area of the tooth like crowns do.
Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored restorations that are more comprehensive than traditional fillings, but more conservative than dental crowns.
Do You Need an Inlay or an Onlay?
Whether you need an inlay or an onlay depends on the extent of your dental damage. Because it covers the top of the tooth and its cusps, an onlay is appropriate for a tooth with a large cavity or crack. Alternatively, an inlay covers less surface area and rests between the cusps of your tooth.
The Placement Process
Before placing an inlay or onlay, Dr. Malki will numb the area around your tooth and remove any damaged portions of the tooth. Next, he will take digital impressions of the tooth using CEREC technology. This information is sent directly to the on-site milling machine that will custom-fabricate your restoration. Most patients wait about an hour for their restoration to be complete. The use of CEREC technology represents a huge time-saving advantage to the patient when compared to traditional methods of inlay and onlay production, which require a two-week wait while an outside lab makes the restoration.
To place the restoration, Mr. Malki will lightly etch your tooth to facilitate the bonding process. He will then ensure the restoration appears authentic, blends in with surrounding enamel, fits comfortably, and complements bite patterns. Finally, he will permanently bond your inlay or onlay in place.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are the preferred dental therapy for moderate damage to molars because they offer many attractive benefits, including:
- Improved oral function
- Decreased tooth discomfort
- An economical treatment compared to crowns
- More healthy tooth structure salvaged than with crown treatment
- A restoration made of dental-grade porcelain that blends in with your natural smile
- An entire treatment completed in one convenient appointment
Because inlays and onlays are fabricated on-site using CEREC, you can enjoy these benefits sooner than ever before.
Find out If Inlays and Onlays Are Right for You
You do not have to endure the discomforts of a damaged molar another day. Dr. Malki and his team can provide same-day inlays and onlays that help your smile look and feel great for years to come. Call our office at (201) 646-0800, or send us a message to begin exploring your treatment options.