Inlays and Onlays Can Repair Moderate Dental Damage

Man smiling.If you have mildly damaged molars, Dr. Ettienne van Zyl offers inlays and onlays, which are considered an intermediate step between dental fillings and dental crowns. Like crowns, inlays and onlays can restore damaged teeth and enhance oral function. However, thanks to their smaller size, they are more affordable than crowns, and closer in price to fillings. Dr. van Zyl will carefully design your inlay or onlay to match the color of your smile, as well as preserve the strength of your bite. To learn more about inlays and onlays in the Memphis, TN, area, contact the van Zyl Center for Advanced Dentistry.

How Inlays and Onlays Can Restore Your Dental Health

Inlays and onlays are appropriate for teeth with extensive decay. If a cavity has destroyed a large portion of your tooth, but you still have a certain amount of healthy tissue, an inlay or onlay may be appropriate. Inlays and onlays act similar in function, but vary in where they are placed.

An inlay will nestle between the cusps of your tooth. An onlay will go over the cusps and down the sides of your tooth. Once in place, these restorations can improve the look of your smile, as well as your ability to bite and chew.

What to Expect during Treatment

To determine the most appropriate restoration, Dr. van Zyl will carefully examine your tooth. Typically, he will take x-rays to diagnose the extent of the damage. If he determines that you are a candidate for an inlay or onlay, he will first reshape your tooth. Then, using gentle methods, he will eliminate bacteria and decayed tissue. He will also make more room for the restoration.

Next, Dr. van Zyl will take impressions. These models will be submitted to our lab, where technicians will craft your custom restoration. Inlays and onlays can be made of metal. However, we typically recommend porcelain, since it will best match your teeth. Our lab uses advanced materials, which come in a wide range of shades. Your treatment team will find a color that is a near-perfect match to your smile.

When the inlay or onlay has been received in our office, Dr. van Zyl will affix it to your tooth. Typically, you will enjoy an almost immediate return of your dental function.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

If you have dental decay, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. Without care, the cavity will grow larger, eventually destroying your tooth. When placing an inlay or onlay, Dr. van Zyl will eliminate bacteria and clean the tooth.

Inlays and onlays offer distinct benefits over other, similar restorations. First, since inlays and onlays require less material and a shorter procedure, they are a very economical option.

Additionally, because of their smaller size, inlays and onlays require less alteration of your tooth. As a result, your treatment can be faster and easier. Finally, with an inlay or onlay, Dr. van Zyl can preserve your tooth. Your teeth are stronger than even the most advanced restoration. 

Learn More

Dr. van Zyl can provide the outstanding restorative care you need. Contact our practice today to find out if an inlay or onlay is appropriate for your needs. 

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