While prevention is the best medicine, it is not always possible. Unfortunately, tooth decay is an extremely common dental problem affecting many of our Palm Beach Gardens patients. Simply stated, tooth decay is the process through which cavities form. It occurs when acids within the mouth eat away at the surfaces of the teeth. Over time, this process will result in the formation of dental caries. Once tooth decay has occurred, the decayed areas must be treated. While many cavities can be treated with tooth-colored fillings, severe tooth decay and decay in the rear teeth are better suited to inlays, onlays, or dental crowns. For patients in Palm Beach Gardens, inlays, onlays, and dental crowns may be used to aesthetically and effectively treat tooth decay.
Palm Beach Gardens cosmetic dentist Jay Ajmo recommends inlays and onlays in the treatment of rear teeth that have been damaged by decay. If teeth are too damaged for a traditional filling, but are not damaged enough to require a dental crown, inlays and onlays may be used. Once placed, inlays and onlays become virtually undetectable because they are comprised of a tooth-colored material. Incredibly aesthetically pleasing, inlays and onlays may be used to restore the function and health of the teeth without ever compromising the beauty of your smile.
Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored dental restorations, typically comprised of resin materials or of porcelain, used to restore rear teeth affected by mild to moderate decay. They may also be used to reduce tooth sensitivity, to prevent the loss of a damaged tooth due to decay, and to replace amalgam (metal) fillings. Inlays and onlays are long-lasting and remarkably strong dental restorations.
For decay and damage lying within the indented top surfaces of the teeth, between the cusps, inlays are used. For decay and damage extending to one or more of the cusps of the teeth, onlays are used.
During the inlays and onlays treatment, an impression of the decayed tooth is made. A temporary inlay or onlay is then placed over the tooth. The impression will be taken to a dental laboratory where a dental technician will make an inlay or onlay to your tooth’s unique specifications. When you return to our Palm Beach Gardens dental office in about two weeks, we will remove the temporary inlay or onlay, and securely place the permanent inlay or onlay onto the tooth.
Sometimes teeth are too extensively decayed or damaged for inlays and onlays. For our patients with severe tooth decay in Palm Beach Gardens, dental crowns may be a more suitable treatment than inlays or onlays. Dental crowns are “caps” that placed over the entire visible portion of a tooth, including below and at the gum line. These “caps” are used to restore the appearance, shape, size, and strength of a tooth. Dental crowns may be used to reinforce teeth weakened from decay, as well as cracked and chipped teeth.
To learn more about inlays, onlays, and dental crowns, or to schedule an examination, please contact PGA Center for Advanced Dentistry today. Palm Beach Gardens cosmetic dentist Jay Ajmo and his skilled staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have.