inlays and Onlays in Chandler, AZ

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What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are dental restorations used to repair teeth when you need more than a filling but less than a full crown. They are used to restore broken or decayed teeth, to replace large or fractured fillings, and to enhance your smile by replacing silver fillings. The distinction between inlays and onlays is that onlays are used to cover one cusp or more, whereas dental inlays tend to be used more as a filling between the cusps. Inlays are used as an alternative to fillings for their additional strength. Onlays are used to conserve natural tooth structure when you don't need a full crown. Like fillings and crowns, onlays and inlays can be created with different materials — metal, porcelain, and composite resin. Fellowship-trained cosmetic dentist Dr. Troy Gombert can help Chandler, AZ patients understand crowns, fillings, onlays, and inlays before they make the best choice for treating their teeth.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Inlays and Onlays?

An inlay or onlay is a fantastic option when you have a cracked tooth or a large cavity that's too big to get filled, but does not require the complete protection of a crown. At your exam, Dr. Gombert may examine your x-rays to decide the ideal method for your needs. If an onlay or inlay is chosen, he will discuss the available materials that will best fit your requirements. You may even talk about whether you'd like a direct restoration (an onlay or inlay created in our office using CEREC technology while you wait) versus an indirect restoration created in a dental lab.

How Do Inlays and Onlays Work?

After applying numbing cream to your gums, Dr. Gombert will begin by cleaning out regions of decay. Other techniques of sedation may be used in case you experience stress or a powerful gag reflex. When the enamel is cleaned, impressions will be produced from your tooth. If you're getting an inlay or onlay made in a dental lab, a temporary cover will be set until it is prepared. As soon as your inlay or onlay is ready, Dr. Gombert will carefully set and then bond it on your tooth. He will polish the borders or adjust the fit so that your tooth is suitably coated and feels comfortable.

What Is Recovery Like After Inlays and Onlays?

If just local anesthesia is used, you can leave following your appointment and get back to your regular activities. You might experience mild discomfort, swelling, or sensitivity for a couple of days once your onlay or inlay is placed. Please call Dr. Gombert should you experience any issues following your treatment. Your inlay or onlay can be cared for like your own teeth using daily flossing and brushing. You need to schedule yearly dental examinations and twice yearly cleanings at our facility so Dr. Gombert can evaluate the wear and health of the inlay or onlay. With appropriate maintenance, it ought to last for several years before needing to be repaired or replaced.

Does Insurance Cover Inlays and Onlays?

Onlays and inlays are a common procedure for dental cavities and other issues, so they're generally paid in part by insurance. A team member can talk to your insurer to ascertain your particular policy prior to figuring out your personal expenses. Dr. Gombert can personalize your procedure with restoration materials to meet your budget and needs. At your consultative appointment, Dr. Gombert will discuss price quotes and payment types we accept, such as low-cost medical financing.

Inlays and Onlays FAQ

What should I do if my inlay or onlay falls out?
If an inlay or onlay falls out, it’s important to contact your dentist immediately. In the meantime, keep the area clean and avoid chewing on the affected side. If possible, save the inlay or onlay and bring it to your dentist, as it might be possible to reattach it. The dentist will assess the situation and determine whether the original inlay or onlay can be reused or if a new one needs to be fabricated. Timely intervention is crucial to prevent further damage to the tooth and to restore its function and appearance.

Can inlays and onlays prevent further tooth decay?
Inlays and onlays can help prevent further tooth decay by providing a durable and protective covering for the damaged areas of the tooth. They are designed to fit precisely, sealing out bacteria and food particles that can cause decay. Additionally, the materials used in inlays and onlays are resistant to decay themselves, offering long-term protection. However, maintaining good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, is essential to prevent decay in other areas of the mouth and around the restored tooth.

Are there any dietary restrictions after getting inlays and onlays?
After getting inlays and onlays, it’s advisable to avoid extremely hard or sticky foods for a short period to allow the restoration to bond fully with the tooth. Long-term, patients should be cautious with very hard foods that could potentially damage the inlay or onlay. However, in general, inlays and onlays are designed to withstand normal chewing forces, allowing patients to enjoy a wide variety of foods without significant restrictions. Maintaining a balanced diet and practicing good oral hygiene will help ensure the longevity of the restoration.

What are the potential complications associated with inlays and onlays?
While inlays and onlays are generally safe and effective, potential complications can include sensitivity to hot or cold, particularly in the initial days following the procedure. There’s also a risk of the inlay or onlay becoming dislodged or breaking if exposed to excessive force. In rare cases, patients might experience an allergic reaction to the materials used. Proper placement by a skilled dentist and adhering to post-care instructions can minimize these risks. If any complications arise, it’s important to consult with your dentist promptly.

How should I care for my teeth after receiving inlays and onlays?
Caring for teeth with inlays and onlays involves maintaining regular oral hygiene practices such as brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings. Avoiding habits that can damage teeth, such as chewing on ice or using teeth as tools, is also important. Additionally, using a mouthguard during sports or if you grind your teeth at night can protect your restorations. Proper care ensures that inlays and onlays last as long as possible and keep your smile healthy and functional.

Repairing Your Teeth

Regardless of whether you pick an onlay or inlay, metal or ceramic, indirect or direct, it is important to deal with a damaged or decayed tooth before it turns into a debilitating and costly issue. Find out more about inlays and onlays to repair your teeth by making an appointment with us in Chandler, AZ. Dr. Gombert and his team can help revive your smile using the very best remedy for your requirements.

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* All information subject to change. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.