If you damage one of your permanent teeth or you develop tooth decay, you might benefit from inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays are a conservative type of restoration that improve the aesthetic appearance and functionality of your smile. The experienced dental team led by Frantz Backer, DDS, at Advanced Dentistry of New York in Jackson Heights, Queens, and Brooklyn Heights, New York City, regularly use inlays and onlays to preserve their patients’ teeth and prevent further damage. To learn more, request your appointment by calling the office or booking one online.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are types of conservative restoration used to repair cracked, damaged, or decaying teeth. Though many people use the terms inlays and onlays interchangeably, they’re actually two different things.

Inlays are similar to fillings and restore pieces of a tooth lost to decay. Onlays, on the other hand, address damage to the chewing surface of your molars or back teeth. At Advanced Dentistry of New York, the team regularly prescribes inlays and onlays to treat broken or damaged teeth. In addition to improving the aesthetic appearance of your smile, inlays and onlays promote functionality.

What types of issues can inlays and onlays address?

Inlays and onlays are incredibly versatile and last for long periods of time. The team at Advanced Dentistry of New York might recommend inlays or onlays to:

  • Repair broken teeth
  • Repair decaying teeth
  • Strengthen damaged teeth
  • Improve the aesthetic appearance of your teeth

If you practice good oral hygiene, but still sustain damage to a tooth or teeth, the team might also recommend an inlay or onlay. They’re easy to apply and less invasive than traditional restorations such as crowns and bridges.

What is the process for receiving inlays and onlays?

The process of receiving inlays and onlays is similar to receiving a crown. First, the team conducts an oral exam, reviews your medical history, and asks you about your aesthetic goals for treatment. The team might also take a series of X-rays to get a closer look at your tooth roots and jaw bone.

Next, your dentist administers a local anesthetic to numb your mouth and takes impressions of your affected tooth. The team sends your impressions to a dental laboratory that manufactures your inlays or onlays.

A week or two later, you return to Advanced Dentistry of New York, and the team carefully bonds your inlays or onlays to the surface of your teeth, a process that usually takes no longer than 60 minutes.

How do I prevent damage to my inlays and onlays?

To prevent damage to your inlays and onlays, care for them like you would your natural, permanent teeth. The team recommends brushing and flossing regularly, and visiting the dentist every six months for a professional cleaning and exam. You should also avoid bad habits such as chewing on ice or biting your fingernails, as they increase your risk of chipping, cracking, and other damage.

To learn more about the benefits of dental inlays and onlays, make an appointment at Advanced Dentistry of New York by calling the office today or booking one online.