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Understanding inlays and onlays: the unsung heroes of dental care

Each bite, each chew, every word spoken - these acts are facilitated by the unsung heroes of our oral landscape: our teeth. Yet, when things go awry, as they often can, we need to be introduced to restorative procedures at our dentist in Waterlooville, including inlays and onlays, that work to restore not just our smiles, but also our overall dental health.

What are inlays and onlays?


In the realm of dental restorations, inlays and onlays play an integral role. Think of them as the middle ground between a filling and a crown. They are specifically designed to restore large cavities or tooth damage that is too extensive for a filling, yet not so severe as to require a crown. Crafted from materials like porcelain, gold, or composite resins, these dental solutions can provide a lasting, aesthetic repair that seamlessly blends with your existing teeth.


Inlays are employed when the damage is within the cusps or bumps on a tooth's chewing surface, whereas onlays are used when the damage extends beyond one or more of these cusps. The primary difference lies in their extent of coverage, but their aim remains the same: to restore functionality and aesthetics, preserving as much of the natural tooth structure as possible.


The inlays and onlays procedure


How does one end up with inlays or onlays? The process is more straightforward than one might expect. It usually requires two visits to our dentist in Waterlooville. During the first visit, your dental team will remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth. An impression of the tooth is then taken and sent to a dental laboratory where your inlay or onlay is meticulously crafted.


On the second visit, your dental team will fit and cement the inlay or onlay onto your tooth. It's a precision-driven procedure, as the restoration must fit perfectly into your tooth's unique grooves and crevices to ensure optimal function and aesthetic results.


The benefits of inlays and onlays


Inlays and onlays offer a superior fit. As they are custom-made to fit your tooth precisely, they help to seal the tooth more effectively, preventing bacteria from entering and causing further decay.


Furthermore, these restorations are colour-matched to your natural teeth. This ensures a more natural-looking restoration, enhancing not just your oral function but also your confidence when smiling.


Taking care of inlays and onlays


Once you've had an inlay or onlay procedure, how do you ensure they last? The answer lies in good oral hygiene practices. Although these restorations are durable, they are not indestructible, so a diet low in sugar and hard, crunchy foods can help protect them from damage.


The final thought


In a world where dental health is often linked to overall well-being, maintaining optimal oral health is essential. Inlays and onlays, as parts of restorative dentistry, offer a robust, aesthetically pleasing, and long-lasting solution to medium-scale dental decay or damage. So the next time you encounter tooth trouble, remember our dentist in Waterlooville and the significant role they play in keeping our smiles bright and healthy.

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