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Inlays and Onlays Mesa AZ

Cavities start small, but can quickly grow and cause a significant amount of damage to your teeth. They are the result of tooth decay, which is caused by the bacteria that reside in your mouth. When you eat or drink, some debris and sugars linger. The oral bacteria feast on these sugars. As they eat, they produce acids. The acid wears away at the enamel, the protective outer layer, of your teeth. A regular oral hygiene regimen, complete with brushing, flossing, and twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams, is essential for helping to keep bacteria at bay and eliminating the acids they produce.

However, if you are lax in your oral care, or consistently miss certain areas of your mouth, the bacteria hiding there have the opportunity to multiply. The acids are also given the time they need to erode the enamel. Cavities, small pits, eventually form. Untreated, cavities only continue to grow, weakening the structure of the affected tooth. The cavity may even enter the inner layer of the tooth, which can lead to a serious infection. Typically, fillings are used to treat cavities, but they are not always the best solution. At East Valley Implant & Periodontal Center, we provide an alternative to fillings, inlays, and onlays.

What are Inlays and Onlays?

Usually, when you have a cavity, an amalgam or composite resin filling is used. They are not, however, always the best solution. Cavities on the chewing surfaces of your teeth present unique challenges. Placing a more traditional filling in these particular spaces can harm the integrity of your tooth, causing it to crack or split. For cavities in the chewing surfaces of the molars, inlays and onlays are a better solution. Inlays are used when a single cusp is affected by the cavity. Onlays, on the other hand, are used when more than one cusp is affected. Onlays essentially build up the structure of the damaged tooth and have been referred to as partial crowns. Both are designed to strengthen, rather than weaken the tooth. They are typically made from composite resin or from ceramic (with ceramic being the more popular option).

A smiling face with Inlays and Onlays in Mesa AZ.

Placement of Inlays and Onlays

Traditional fillings are known as direct fillings. The material used for the filling is placed directly in the cavity and hardened there. Inlays and onlays are what are known as indirect fillings. They are formed outside of the tooth. The procedure for inlays and onlays starts similarly to traditional fillings. We begin by removing the decay from the cavity, cleaning it and disinfecting it. This is where the similarities end. Once the tooth is cleaned, we then move on to take an impression of the tooth. The impression is sent to a lab, where it is used to design and fabricate your custom inlay or onlay. It can take up to two weeks for the restoration to be finished, so we place a temporary filling while you wait. Once the permanent inlay or onlay is ready, we remove the temporary filling and place the permanent restoration, using a special dental cement to hold it securely in place.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays offer several benefits. Composite resin and porcelain match the color of your teeth. They contain no metal or mercury. Because they are created outside of the tooth, there is no worry about the material shrinking inside the tooth. They are not affected by temperature like amalgam fillings. They are minimally invasive and require very little tooth preparation. They are also less expensive, and less invasive, than dental crowns.

Cavities are a serious issue that need to be treated as soon as possible. For more information on inlays and onlays, and to find out if they are the right solution for you, call East Valley Implant & Periodontal Center at (480) 376-2848 to schedule your consultation today.

Mesa Location
3048 E. Baseline Rd.
Suite #112
Mesa , AZ 85204


(480) 376-2848 opt. 1
Fax: 480-827-9703

Scottsdale Location
8952 E. Desert Cove
Suite #D-101
Scottsdale, AZ 85260


(480) 376-2848 opt. 2
Fax: 480-661-9277

East Valley Implant & Periodontal Center

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East Valley Implant & Periodontal Center | | (480) 376-2848
3048 E Baseline Rd, Suite 112, Mesa, AZ 85204
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