Dental Inlays and Onlays in La Jolla, CA
Dental inlays and onlays at Harmony Dental Group are popular restorative options for patients in La Jolla who have moderate to severe tooth decay or damage. These restorations can help to repair and strengthen the affected teeth and also improve the overall appearance of their smile. While inlays and onlays are less common than dental fillings and crowns, they play a key role in minimally-invasive restorative care.
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Restore Your Smile with Dental Inlays and Onlays
At Harmony Dental Group we are proud to offer dental inlays and onlays for our patients with tooth decay or damage that requires a bit more than just a regular filling.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays, also known as “three-quarter crowns,” offer a number of benefits to patients who have moderate to severe tooth decay or damage. Inlays and onlays are typically made of stronger, more durable materials than traditional fillings. This means that they can provide better support for the tooth and last longer, which can save patients from having to undergo repeat procedures in the future. As a “lab-made filling,” inlays and onlays repair issues similar to a traditional filling but pertaining to a larger area of the tooth.
Additionally, inlays and onlays are designed to conserve as much of the healthy tooth structure as possible. This means that less tooth needs to be removed than a crown does in order to place the restoration, preserving more of the natural tooth. They essentially take up significantly less tooth than a full-coverage dental crown, minimizing the structural impact on your tooth.
What is an Inlay?
An inlay is a custom-made “filling” created at a lab that is used to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma. Inlays are typically made of porcelain, gold, or even zirconia and are used to fill a cavity inside the tooth. They are similar to traditional fillings but are larger in size and able to withstand heaving biting pressure without the risk of the tooth fracturing.
What is an Onlay?
An onlay is similar to an inlay but is used to repair a larger area of the tooth, including the cusps or biting edges, rather than going inside the tooth. Onlays are also custom-made and can be made of the same materials as inlays. They are used to repair a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma, but cover a larger area outside of the tooth.
By scheduling a consultation with our professional and friendly dental team, you can get a professional opinion on whether inlays and onlays are right for you.
Inlays and Onlays vs. Other Restorations
Our patient may need a dental inlay or onlay instead of a filling or crown for several reasons. Some of the most common examples include:
Damage or Decay: If the wear, fracture, or cavity in a tooth is moderate to severe, an inlay or onlay may be a more appropriate treatment option. This is because inlays and onlays can cover a larger area of the tooth and provide more support than a traditional filling.
Size of the Cavity: Inlays and onlays are typically larger than traditional fillings, so they are better suited for larger areas of decay. This is because they can fill the entire space created by the cavity, which can help to prevent further damage during everyday use.
Strength and Durability: Inlays and onlays are typically made of stronger, more durable materials than traditional fillings. They are also crafted in a lab for optimal compatibility with the tooth. This means that they can provide better support for the tooth and last longer than a traditional filling without the need to completely cover the entire tooth with a crown.
Aesthetics: Inlays and onlays can be made of tooth-colored materials, such as porcelain, which can blend in with the natural color of the tooth and improve the overall appearance of your smile.
Preservation of Tooth Structure: Inlays and onlays conserve more tooth structure than a traditional crown, which requires significantly more tooth alteration during the treatment process. As such, they may be a better alternative for preserving teeth without major structural damage.
It’s important to note that the best option for a patient will depend on their individual circumstances. Our La Jolla dentist will recommend the best treatment option after a thorough examination.
If you live in La Jolla or the surrounding area and looking for a natural-looking restoration, contact us today for more information about Dental inlays and onlays.
The Treatment Procedure: What to Expect
The treatment procedure for inlays and onlays typically requires two appointments. During the first appointment, our dentist will prepare the affected tooth by removing any decay or damage. Then we will take an impression of the tooth, which will be used by our lab to create the custom-made inlay or onlay. We’ll fit you with a temporary filling or crown until the final restoration is ready.
During the second appointment (about two weeks later,) we will remove the temporary restoration and place the custom-made inlay or onlay.
How Inlays and Onlays are Made
Inlays and onlays are typically made in a dental laboratory by hand or digitally milled with the help of 3D imaging data. We will either take an impression of your tooth or record a digital scan to create a model of the tooth. The lab will then use this model to create the custom-made inlay or onlay with the materials specified by our dentist. The final restoration is then sent back to our office for placement.
Depending on which tooth needs to be restored, inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or other types of ceramic materials.
Inlays and Onlays at Harmony Dental Group
At Harmony Dental Group, our La Jolla dentist recognizes that every patient has unique oral health needs, and as such, we offer customized treatment planning to ensure that you receive the best care for your individual circumstances. Our dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth and will take the time to listen to your concerns and goals. Based on this information, they will develop a personalized treatment plan that addresses your specific oral health needs, taking into account any existing conditions, as well as your budget and schedule. Our dentist will also explain the treatment options available to you and work with you to choose the best approach.
We pride ourselves in providing individualized and comprehensive care to our patients, ensuring that each one of them leaves our clinic with a healthy and beautiful smile. Call us today to learn more about inlays and onlays in La Jolla, CA.
Definition of common dental fillings terminology
Tooth decay (dental caries): Tooth decay is the breakdown of teeth due to acids produced by bacteria.
Tooth Enamel: Enamel is the thin outer covering of the tooth. This tough shell is the hardest tissue in the human body.
Tartar: Tartar is a hard yellowish substance that forms on your teeth and causes them to decay if it is not removed.
Cavities: A cavity is a hole in a tooth that develops from tooth decay.
Dentist: A dentist, also known as a dental surgeon, is a doctor who specializes in the patient’s teeth, gums, and mouth.
Dental Filling: A dental filling is a procedure to treat a small hole, or cavity, in a tooth.
The Harmony Dental Group Experience
- Highest Level of Dental Care
- Friendly and Caring Staff
- Affordable Financing Options
- Personalized Dental Services
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About our Dentistry
- CA (License #12035). View License Information
- Insurance: We work with most insurance providers including all PPO’s and Medicare
- No Insurance? No problem call (858) 550-8000 for more information
- Financing Options: We offer a wide range of dental financing options
- We serve patients from the following counties: San Diego
- We serve patients from the following cities: La Jolla, Pacific Beach, Del Mar, San Diego, University City and Clairmont
- Have Questions? Please feel free to contact us at (858) 550-8000