Your dentist in Lawrenceburg wishes to preserve as much of your natural tooth structure as possible. Dr. Brian Oyler and his associate dentist, Dr. Allison Bleser Shartzer offer superior preventive and restorative dentistry so your smile stays strong and beautiful. As such, they create and place beautifully seamless onlays and inlays as wonderful alternatives to dark amalgam fillings. You end up with a strong, beautiful tooth.
What are Inlays and Onlays?
An inlay is a custom-made porcelain restoration placed in the chewing surface of a large tooth such as a molar. It resides among the cusps, or corners, of the tooth and replaces decayed tooth structure with a durable, bonded-in piece of ceramic. The bonding is permanent and seamless, and the color is very natural looking.
An onlay also is crafted from porcelain. It replaces the entire chewing surface of a tooth, including the corners. Dentists call onlays “partial crowns” because, as with full crowns, they restore the form and function of a tooth which has a very large amalgam filling or a substantial portion of enamel missing due to injury or decay.
Are They Better Than Amalgam?
What is amalgam? If you have dark, metal fillings, they are amalgam. The cavity restoration choice for decades, amalgam fillings have raised concerns in recent years because of their minute mercury component. Additionally, amalgam is noticeably unattractive at the front of the mouth. Over time, amalgam fillings can appear almost black. Plus, they require extensive enamel removal to secure them in your teeth.
Are porcelain inlays and onlays preferable to amalgam? Usually, they are, but the final judgment is up to your dentist. Your personal appearance is not the only issue to consider with dental fillings. Strength and lifespan are also important. Frankly, amalgam will last longest and function best in areas of the mouth where chewing forces are very great.
However, porcelain inlays and onlays just plain look better. Plus, Dr. Oyler has to remove only the decayed enamel to place an inlay or onlay–nothing more. He uses a special etching liquid to prepare the surface and then bonds the restoration right to the tooth. With amalgam, the dentist must remove more tooth structure to effectively secure the filling.
Also, inlays and onlays are great alternatives to full porcelain crowns. Partial crowns replace only the damaged part of a tooth, leaving the rest of the tooth intact. A full crown involves the substantial reshaping of tooth structure.
At Oyler Family Dentistry, the dentist may use an outside dental lab to craft an inlay, onlay or full porcelain crown. Or, Dr. Oyler may use sophisticated E4D technology to take digital impressions and actually mill and place the crown or partial crown right in the treatment room. It just takes one appointment to receive one of these state of the art restorations. Dr. Oyler will explain your treatment options to you and help you choose what kind of crown is best.
How Should You Fix Your Tooth?
A natural-looking inlay or onlay may be for you. However, only your dentist can tell you for sure through an oral exam and X-rays. If you have a compromised tooth or wish to replace large amalgam fillings, contact Brian Oyler Family Dentistry to arrange a restorative dentistry consultation. If you’re wondering, “Can a dentist near me create an inlay or onlay?” the answer is yes!