Most people are aware that dental caries, or ‘cavities’, are basically just a fact of life. By retirement age, over 96% of North Americans have developed these areas of decay in their permanent teeth. You would be hard pressed to find an adult who has never seen a dentist to have a cavity filled, as standard composite fillings are a routine practice and were at one point the only option for mild to moderate tooth decay and caries.
Rear teeth are the most likely to develop cavities and areas of decay. When people notice these problems, they come into the dentist for a filling. These fillings are necessary, but can weaken the structure of your tooth, may discolor unpleasantly, and could need routine repair as they wear, shift, or fall out over the years. But is this the only way?
If you have rear teeth with mild to moderate decay that would be difficult to repair by standard filling, but is not damaged severely enough to require an entire crown or an extraction, you may have an alternative option to the standard composite filling: Inlays and/or onlays!
Skip Your Next Filling with Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are sometimes referred to as “indirect fillings”. They are formed from gold or porcelain to conform to an existing cavity and are bonded to the chewing surface of your teeth. Inlays are restorations that fit into the interior chewing surface of the tooth and do not cover any of the cusps (points) on the tooth. Onlays are similar, but include protective restoration to one or more cusps or the entire chewing surface of the tooth. Both are made in laboratory after the cavity is prepared (decay removed) and a mold of your tooth is taken.
Inlays and Onlays have many advantages over standard fillings or crowns, including:
- They strengthen the damaged tooth by up to 75% (where a standard composite filling can actually weaken teeth by up to 50%)
- They resist pressure from biting down and from chewing, and can last up to 50 years
- They preserve as much of your original tooth structure as possible
- They look and feel natural, and retain their true shape, size, colour, and position after bonding and curing
- None of the cleaning challenges associated with crowns or extractions
- Much less invasive treatment than fillings or crowns
Call or come in to Stonegate Dental today to see if durable gold or porcelain inlays or onlays are the solution to your next cavity!