Inlays and onlays are restorations often used to repair teeth that cannot be fixed with a standard filling but do not warrant a crown. In fact, these restorations are also called indirect fillings. Compared to standard fillings, these restorations require less removal of tooth structure and can last far longer. Here is a look at how placement is performed for indirect fillings.
As with conventional fillings, the first step before placement of indirect fillings is removal of damaged tooth structure. This is performed under local anesthesia using a dental drill. Next, bite impressions are taken for use in making the inlay or onlay out of composite resin, porcelain or gold. While gold may be used for rear restorations, porcelain or composite is preferred for restoring front teeth. To prevent tooth sensitivity between this appointment and the next, our dentist places a temporary restoration. Patients then wait days or weeks for their restoration to be made before returning to our office.
Once patients return to our office, our dentist removes the temporary inlay or onlay and cleans the area where the permanent restoration will be placed. To ensure that the restoration fits properly, our dentist checks the shape and size of it in the space. After an ideal fit has been confirmed, our dentist bonds the new restoration in place with dental cement. By polishing the restoration and surrounding tooth structure, our dentist ensures that appearance and comfort are optimal.
With good home dental hygiene and regular check-ups, patients can expect their inlays or onlays to last for up to 30 years. To minimize risks of damaging the restorations, patients should avoid chewing very hard foods. The amount of time these restorations last can also depend on the material chosen. Patients can schedule a consultation with our Agoura Hills cosmetic dentist to learn more about these restorations and how they are placed.