To treat a cavity your dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then "fill" the area on the tooth
where the decayed material once lived.
Fillings are also used to repair cracked or broken teeth and teeth that have been worn down from misuse
(such as from nail-biting or tooth grinding).
Sometimes, a tooth is planned to be restored with an intra coronal restoration, but the decay or fracture is so
extensive that a direct restoration, such as amalgam or composite, would compromise the structural integrity
of the restored tooth or provide substandard opposition to occlusal (i.e., biting) forces. In such situations, an
indirect gold or porcelain inlay restoration may be indicated.
When an inlay is used, the tooth-to-restoration margin may be finished and polished to such a super-fineline
of contact that recurrent decay will be all but impossible. While these restorations might be ten times the
price of direct restorations, the superiority of an inlay in terms of resistance to occlusal forces, protection
against recurrent decay, precision of fabrication, marginal integrity, proper contouring for gingival (tissue)
health, and ease of cleansing offers an excellent alternative to the direct restoration.
When decay or fracture incorporate areas of a tooth that make amalgam or composite restorations
inadequate, such as cuspal fracture orremaining tooth structure that undermines perimeter walls of a tooth,
an onlay might be indicated. Similar to an inlay, an onlay is an indirect restoration which incorporates a cusp
or cusps by covering or onlaying the missing cusps.
All of the benefits of an inlay are present in the onlay restoration. The onlay allows for conservation of tooth
structure when the only alternative is to totally eliminate cusps and perimeter walls for restoration with a
crown. Just as inlays, onlays are fabricated outside of the mouth and are typically made out of gold or
Gold restorations have been around for many years and have an excellent track record. In recent years, newer
types of porcelains have been developed that seem to rival the longevity of gold. If the onlay or inlay is made
in a dental laboratory, a temporary is fabricated while the restoration is custom-made for the patient. A return
visit is then required to fit the final prosthesis. Inlays and onlays may also be fabricated out of porcelain and
delivered the same day utilizing techniques and technologies relating toCAD/CAM dentistry.
1403 West Lomita Blvd., Ste 306
Harbor City, CA 90710
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