When it comes to cosmetic dentistry, your dentist has several powerful tools and procedures at their disposal. In addition to tooth-colored composite resins that mimic the appearance of your natural teeth, your dentist might also recommend inlays or onlays. These custom-milled restorations help restore structural stability to the teeth while improving their appearance. Although many people use the terms interchangeably, there are a few critical differences between these repairs.
Inlays & Onlays — What’s the Difference?
When dental decay destroys a section of the tooth or fractures expose the all-important pulp chamber, your dentist might recommend inlays, which are milled to replace a large section in the center of the tooth. Unlike fillings, which are piped into place, dentists use impressions to create custom inlays that will fit the void perfectly. Inlays are also designed to mesh well with the rest of the biting surface of the tooth, preventing food collection and dental impact.
Unlike inlays, which are designed to fill sections in the center of the tooth, onlays are designed to replace a large portion of the biting surface of the tooth. Onlays are special because they also tend to have cusps created on the surface to make chewing easier. Onlays are also used in cosmetic dentistry to restore the appearance of the tooth, correcting problems like discoloration, fractures, and surface texture problems.
Cosmetic dentistry, though thought to be solely for appearance, can improve your oral structure. If you have teeth that you are concerned about, stop by Ronald L. Rasmussen, DDS to make a cosmetic dentistry appointment. Conveniently located in the heart of Sacramento, CA, this experienced family dentist can help you enjoy a comfortable, functional smile that you can be proud of. From dental crowns and porcelain veneers to root canals and teeth whitening, Dr. Rasmussen can help your entire family. For more information about services offered by his practice, visit his website or call (916) 689-1100.