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Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays
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Conservative alternatives to repair large cavities, restore teeth to their original health and beauty

Dental decay is incredibly common. In fact, many reading this may be intimately familiar with fillings. Dental fillings are generally recommended to repair cavities. A cavity forms as the result of destructive, progressive decay. The decay process causes a hole (“cavity”) to form in the tooth. Fillings, quite literally, are a prepared dental material or restoration designed to “fill in” and replace the eroded tooth structure in the cavity. 

However, not all types of decay and teeth are well-suited to treatment with dental fillings. In fact, dental inlays and onlays at Los Alamitos Dental Care in Los Alamitos, California, may be an appropriate treatment for individuals with larger cavities. They are also a less aggressive alternative to full dental crowns for patients with more extensive damage to their teeth. 

The ins and outs of inlays, onlays

Not unlike other dental restorations, an inlay or onlay builds up the deteriorated or lost portions of a damaged tooth. They are prepared to precisely replace the lost tissue. Our six dentists use highly aesthetic and durable dental materials to make your inlay or onlay. They may also be perfectly color-matched to blend in with the rest of the tooth and their neighboring teeth. Once prepared, the inlay or onlay is securely fixed or bonded to the natural tooth after damaged tissues have been removed and the tooth itself has been prepared to accept the restoration.

Inlays differ from onlays in that the material only replaces the damaged structure on the tooth’s surface between its cusps or the tips or high points of each tooth. Onlays are appropriate for patients with at least one damaged cusp or tip. Due to the greater coverage provided by an onlay, this restorative option is sometimes called a “partial crown.” It is, indeed, a step down in terms of coverage from the full dental crown. Crowns are designed to fit on top of the sterilized and reshaped tooth. They repair the white part of the tooth above the gum line that is visible when you smile. 

Generally, conservative restorations are made to last and last. They have more natural tooth structure to adhere to, which enhances their strength and durability. Furthermore, due to their tissue-preserving features, conservative restorations like inlays and onlays optimally mimic the aesthetics, feel, and function of healthy natural teeth. 

A “sting” when you drink or eat hot, sweet, or cold foods and beverages. A dark pitted area in your smile. These and other changes may indicate dental decay requiring restorative treatment. Call (562) 539-0011 to promptly resolve pain and other symptoms and avoid needing more extensive and invasive treatments. Los Alamitos Dental Care is here to help!

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