When a tooth is severely decayed or broken, a restoration is needed to save the tooth or extraction may be required. Depending on need, your dentist may recommend inlays, onlays, or dental crowns as your best option.
With inlays and onlays, much less of the tooth’s structure is removed making these procedures a more moderate treatment option. But when a tooth is fractured or decay is very deep, a dental crown may be required.
If your dentist is using a dental lab for restoration fabrication, two dental visits will be needed. The first visit requires preparing the tooth, taking a dental impression, placing a temporary on the tooth until the restoration can be seated, and sending the impression to the dental lab to have it made. It will be available in about two weeks.
However, if your dentist offers CEREC, this treatment becomes a single visit appointment. CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. Which basically means that your CEREC dentist uses CAD/CAM technology to take a digital impression, load it into the CEREC unit, and a piece of porcelain is molded into the type of unit needed to treat your tooth.
If your tooth has experienced decay within the cusps of your tooth, but placing a filling might risk breaking your tooth, an inlay may be the appropriate option. An onlay is best when decay has breached more of the tooth creating a need for a more extensive cover that will protect more of the tooth’s surface. Both inlays and onlays are less invasive and require much less of the tooth’s structure be removed; once these restorations have been cemented in place, the tooth is much stronger.
For a fractured or broken tooth, or one experiencing deep decay, a dental crown may be better suited. Your CEREC dentist can prep your tooth, fabricate your crown, and seat it in one dental visit. In addition to these applications, dental crowns are the appropriate treatment to seal a tooth following root canal therapy, as anchors for a fixed prosthesis, and as the final restoration for a dental implant.
Inlays, onlays, and dental crowns fortify the teeth they protect; caring for treated teeth involves daily brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, flossing daily to remove what your brush missed, and visiting your dentist every six months for cleaning and a dental exam.
To schedule an appointment or a cleaning, contact our team today!