When more than of the structure of a tooth is affected with cavities, restoring it with the traditional filling materials may not be the best restorative option. In these cases, a tooth can be effectively restored with the help of indirect restorations, such as inlays, onlays and porcelain crowns.
Inlays are indirect dental restorations that are used for the restoration of grossly carious teeth. An inlay is just like a filling that is placed between the cusps of the teeth. However, unlike a dental filling that is placed directly inside the prepared teeth, inlays are fabricated in the dental laboratory and then bonded to the remaining tooth structure.
Onlays are quite similar to the inlays, however, they are larger in size and are used in cases where teeth cavities have extended beyond one or more of the cusps. Just like the inlays, they are also prepared in the dental laboratory and then placed inside the patient’s mouth.
Thinking why you should prefer inlays or onlays over the traditional fillings? Here are few reasons for you:
Before providing you an inlay or onlay, your dentist will first remove cavities from the tooth that has to receive the indirect prosthesis. Once the tooth has been prepared, your dentist will make an impression of the tooth and send it to the dental laboratory for the fabrication of the restoration. Once the restoration is received back from the laboratory, it is first tried onto the patient’s teeth before permanently attaching it. Once the dentist is satisfied with the fit and esthetics, the prosthesis will be permanently bonded to the tooth.
Porcelain crowns are a highly reliable and esthetic replacement option for your missing teeth. Since these crowns are fabricated from porcelain, they not only possess excellent strength and durability, but their color can be exactly matched to that of your adjacent natural teeth, thereby improving your smile and facial esthetics.
Similar to the inlays and onlays, the fabrication of porcelain crowns is also carried out in the dental laboratory. First, your dentist will prepare your teeth such that they are shaped exactly like the crown that will be placed over them. Next, your dentist will make an impression of your teeth. This impression is then sent to the laboratory, where the crown is prepared by using dental porcelain. After careful finishing and polishing, the crown is then sent back to the dental office. Back at the dental office, a trial insertion of the crown will be performed, followed by permanent cementation if everything goes well. Any minor corrections, if required at this stage, are usually carried out at the dental chairside.
You are an eligible candidate for getting porcelain crowns, if you have any of these dental problems: