Understanding Inlays, Overlays & Crown Restoration Treatments

If your teeth are damaged due to wear, physical impact or decay-related effects, you can restore them by having inlays, onlays, or crowns fitted to your teeth. These are teeth replacements made of composite resin, porcelain or gold. Inlays are for small replacements at the center of the crown, onlays are for entire upper crown surfaces, while crowns are for the entire exposed part of the teeth. The extent of damage on your teeth will determine which one you get fitted with. Read on to learn more.

The procedure

When having an inlay, onlay or crown restoration treatment, you will first get administered anesthesia. The dentist will then use a dental drill to remove the affected part of the tooth. This process also creates enough room for the replacement inlay/onlay/crown. The dentist will then use a mold of your tooth to create a replacement made of porcelain, gold or composite resin. Once ready, the inlay/onlay/crown will be fitted and cemented in place. Your dentist will then polish the area to ensure a smooth finish. In some cases, a special light may be used to help cure the cement faster.

What brings about the need to get a tooth restoration treatment?

There are a number of causes that can lead you to restorative tooth treatment. Physical damage due to accidents, fights or falls can cause cracks that need to be repaired in this way. On the other hand, poor eating and brushing habits can lead to teeth decay and development of cavities. In limited cases, you may need this type of treatment because a prior replacement was not done or maintained correctly.

If your tooth is decayed, has a cavity or is cracked, you are a perfect candidate for restoration treatment. You can tell your tooth is decayed if you observe a dark/discoloured patch on the tooth. Decayed teeth will also give off a bad smell. If your tooth is cracked or has a cavity, you will feel pain when brushing or taking hot and cold foods/drinks. However, to be absolutely sure, have your dentist take a look.

Benefits of getting an inlay/onlay/crown restoration

There are numerous benefits to having an inlay/onlay/crown fitted on your teeth. One, the filling stops any ongoing damage, e.g. decay, cracking or cavity. Two, the treatment will stop any pain caused by the tooth damage, infection or inflammation. Thirdly, the treatment prevents the damage from worsening and causing root canal infection or tooth loss.

In addition to the above, you can also get an inlay, onlay or crown restoration as a way to replace your amalgam fillings. The modern porcelain replacements look just like your teeth so no one will ever notice you've had any work done.