Inlays and Onlays
It’s time to get real about your mouth. Our mouths, much like many of our bodies, aren’t getting any younger. Some of our mouths are much older-looking than they should be. For some of us, that’s because of our habits. Perhaps you were a smoker when you were younger, and you have the discolored teeth to prove it. Maybe you didn’t have the best oral hygiene in college, and you thought not brushing, and flossing was colorful. Or perhaps you are like many of us and have some issues with your molars due to fillings you might have gotten 40 years ago.
Did you know that there are procedures that allow you to fix some of the issues with your mouth? There are procedures we can do to give your teeth new life. Not sure what we mean? Let Lincoln Center Smiles tell you about inlays and onlays.
Believe it or not, inlays were once considered high fashion. People used to line their teeth with gold! These days, we use inlays to fix your teeth once decay has set in. Sometimes, decay makes the biting surface of your tooth weak. Usually when that happens, we drill out the decay and fill the hole in your tooth with composite. In the past, we filled teeth with gold or silver.
However, these days, most people like inlays that are made from composite. Composites look like your real teeth and hide the flaw left in your tooth from the cavity or decay. Composite also makes your tooth stronger. If you don’t want a composite inlay, we can also make them with porcelain or ceramic. While older fillings weren’t bonded completely to your teeth, inlays can be. That way, your overall tooth looks better and is stronger, which means you are less likely to lose it.
Inlays may be on the biting surface of your tooth, but they are usually inside the tooth itself. They don’t extend past the surface. If you need the surface of your tooth built up, we will use an onlay. Onlays work a lot like inlays. We use them to repair a tooth that needs to be fixed due to tooth decay.
However, onlays can be used to build up one cusp or multiple cusps on the surface of your tooth. These cusps allow you to bite down on foods as easily as you did before the tooth decay set in. If you have trouble with one of your back molars, onlays might be the way to go. It will make chewing in the back much easier. Onlays used to be made of gold or silver like inlays were. Today, most onlays are made of composite material that matches the color of your natural tooth.
Do you have questions about a tooth you have? Perhaps it needs additional treatment to make it easier for you to chew, or to make the tooth stronger? Do you have questions about inlays or onlays? We can answer them. Give Lincoln Center Smiles at (503) 598-0898, and let us talk to you about the amazing work we can do with inlays and onlays that will make your teeth stronger for life.