How a Cosmetic Dentist Can Place Inlays and Onlays

Dental Procedures Phoenix, AZ

Essentially, a cosmetic dentist provides inlays and onlays to correct major issues like tooth damage or extensive tooth decay that cannot be repaired by using traditional dental fillings. However, such damages are not severe enough to need a dental crown. They are often described as the larger form of fillings and are highly durable in that they can replace the chewing surface of the tooth and still be effective. Continue reading to know how inlays and onlays are placed over the teeth.

Placing inlays and onlays

Different types of materials can be used for inlays and onlays, including gold, ceramics and composite resin. Porcelain and composite materials are more natural-looking and can be customized to blend with the rest of the teeth. The procedure is usually completed in two dental appointments.

Tooth preparation

The cosmetic dentist will start by preparing the tooth that requires restoration. The surrounding area will be numbed with local anesthesia to ensure comfort during the process. The dental professional will remove the damaged part of the tooth structure, any decay or old fillings, while ensuring that most of the natural, healthy tooth structure is preserved. If there is a breakage or crack, the area will be smoothened before creating the restoration.

After preparing the tooth or teeth, the dentist will take impressions of the teeth. This is to ensure that the final restoration fits over the tooth correctly. The molded impression of the tooth is forwarded to a dental lab, where the restoration will be fabricated. A temporary restoration with the shape of the inlay or onlay will be provided during this appointment to protect the tooth while the final restoration is in production.

The dentist may initiate a conversation about the best material to use. For cosmetic reasons, porcelain material provides the best cosmetic appeal and is usually used for the front-row teeth. Resin material might be recommended for patients who grind their teeth or have misaligned teeth.

Placing the restoration

During the second appointment, the dentist will remove the provisional restoration to place the final inlay or onlay. The margins will be checked to ensure that the restoration fits smoothly and looks good. The dental professional will also check the patient’s bite to ensure that there are no misalignment issues that could affect the margin of the inlay or onlay. Only then will the restoration be bonded securely over the tooth and the margins polished.

Patients will receive guidelines on how to care for the dental restoration. Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups are important to ensure that the inlay or onlay lasts a long time. Some dental offices have the facilities to create inlays and onlays for their patients. In that case, the restoration process can be completed in a single dental appointment.

Final note

The process of placing inlays and onlays is simple and helps preserve natural tooth structure. The cosmetic dentist will use tooth-colored materials to ensure that the results look appealing. To get more information about the procedure, contact the dental office today.

Request an appointment here: or call Phoenix Family Dentistry at (602) 362-7061 for an appointment in our Phoenix office.

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