Inlays and Onlays – An Alternative to a Full Crown

Damage to a tooth caused by decay, such as a cavity, needs to be addressed so the structure of the tooth is not completely destroyed. Bacteria and enzymes can eat away the tooth material if the area is not cleaned and covered properly. Inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach in comparison to a crown to restore a missing tooth structure and the function of a damaged tooth. They can also be used instead of fillings in some situations. An inlay is used in the center indentation in the lateral edge of the tooth. An onlay is used when the cusp or several cusps of a tooth needs to be covered or the entire biting surface needs to be sealed.

Inlays and onlays are more permanent than composite fillings. They can be made of one of three different materials. The strongest and most durable is gold. It is typically used in the back of the mouth, such for repairing molars where the bite force is the strongest. Resin is often used in a patient who has acquired the bruxism (teeth grinding) habit. A porcelain inlay or onlay can be used in the smile line teeth for aesthetic reasons.

Dr. Peter F. Hazim services the Allen, Texas population and all surrounding areas. He can help with all types of dental needs, including inlays and onlays. For the application of an inlay or onlay, a two-visit process is required because the inlay or onlay is created in a specialized laboratory specifically for your tooth. During the first visit, Dr. Hazim will clean and prepare the tooth where the restoration is necessary. He will then take an impression of the tooth and fit you with a temporary inlay or onlay to protect the tooth between visits.

Between visits, Dr. Hazim will send the impression to a lab he has used repeatedly and trusts. Your inlay or onlay will be crafted to fit snugly to your damaged tooth. When you return for your second visit, Dr. Hazim will place the inlay or onlay to protect and restore tooth function and appearance. Custom inlays and onlays protect from bacteria that can cause further tooth decay. They also restore function that may have been lost in the areas of talking or eating. Tooth-colored porcelain can cosmetically improve the look of your smile as well.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

Follow Dr. Peter Hazim on Google+