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What are Inlays and Onlays?

Tooth decay is something you have to take seriously and get treated. But which is the right treatment option for your tooth decay? Various stages and levels of severity require different treatment methods to take care of it. Dr. Robert Gauthier of Sudbury Dental Arts, a dentist in Sudbury, MA, discusses inlays and onlays and what they’re used for.sudbury, ma dentist

What Level of Tooth Decay Do You Have?

Treatment for tooth decay can range from anything as small as a dental filling to something as serious as a tooth extraction. Your experienced Sudbury, MA dentist will analyze the tooth you’re having problems with to discern the best way to treat the level of tooth decay you have.

If you’ve let decay go for a long time, it spreads out across the tooth, covering a large area of the tooth. Decay is also common in your molars and larger teeth. These teeth have large crevices that can make them harder to clean than the teeth in the front of your mouth. This can create an odd pattern of decay in a hard to reach area.

What are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be used when a dental filling isn’t able to provide the structure and support that the decay needs. They’re also a more conservative option than a full dental crown, and cheaper as well. We’re able to provide inlays and onlays for those patients that meet these criteria with their tooth decay problems.

Inlays are designed to fit into the cusp of the tooth and are also called partial crowns. It molds itself to the crevices of your molar, making sure to get into every last one. When an inlay is placed, it’s permanently bonded in place to make sure that the tooth is sealed off from further infection. During the process, the tooth is completely cleaned of the infection and prepped for the inlay. The inlay is custom-made for your tooth.

Onlays, rather, are usually used to treat areas of tooth decay that are very large. A filling can take care of tooth decay that’s on the tooth’s surface. However, when it spreads and goes deeper, it can impact the structure of the tooth. Unlike a dental filling, an onlay can help to support your tooth in the long-term.

The materials used for inlays and onlays can be matched to the color of the rest of your teeth. When you get an inlay or onlay, it’s designed to blend in seamlessly with your teeth. You should have full functionality back with the impacted teeth and no one should be able to tell that your tooth isn’t completely natural.

Oral Care With Your Dentist in Sudbury, Massachusetts

One of the best ways to make sure that you don’t have problems with tooth decay is to make sure you’re seeing your dentist regularly. Preventative dentistry is crucial to preventing further issues with your oral health down the line. Your dentist can also give you tips and tricks for keeping up with your oral health at home to ensure your smile is at its best.

If you’re suffering from tooth decay or just need your regular checkup, call us or schedule an appointment online.