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What are inlays and onlays?

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When the biting surface of the back tooth needs a restoration, the best choice is often an inlay or onlay made of resin.

The resin material is a mixture of acrylic resin and microscopic particles that is shaped and cured for strength.

The dentist may recommend an inlay or onlay depending on how much tooth structure has been lost.

An inlay fits within the grooves of a tooth biting surface, like a filling. An onlay also covers one or more cusps of the tooth.

Both kinds of restorations are precision crafted in a dental laboratory, so it may take one or more appointments to restore your tooth with a resin inlay or onlay.

On the first visit the dentist numbs the area in order to make you comfortable.
The dentist may also use a rubber dam to protect your teeth while he or she is working.

Then, the dentist removes any decay and shapes the tooth with a hand piece.
Next, the dentist will take an impression of your teeth.

The lab uses the impression to make a model of your teeth. They’ll use the model to create a final restoration that precisely fits your tooth and bite.

In the meantime, the dentist will place a temporary restoration. On the next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary and try in your final resin inlay or onlay. The dentist will check the fit and if everything looks great, he or she will place the final restoration in place.

Resin restoration advantages:

- protects the tooth
- material expands and contracts like natural teeth
-is gentle on the opposing teeth
- has a natural appearance

When a back tooth needs a restoration, a resin inlay or onlay is a natural looking choice


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