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Inlays and Onlays
Medford, OR

 Woman smiling with perfect teeth at Rogue Valley Dental Center in Medford, ORTooth decay is the erosion of your enamel. It occurs when the acids that are produced by plaque and oral bacteria linger on the surfaces of your teeth for too long. Eventually, this erosion leads to the formation of small pits or cavities in your teeth. Cavities need to be treated. Without treatment, they only continue to grow larger, compromising the health of the teeth. They are usually treated with fillings, either amalgam or composite resin. However, some cavities, such as those on the tops of your molars, present a unique problem. Traditional fillings can cause harm, rather than protecting and restoring the tooth. At Rogue Valley Dental Center, we can treat these cavities with another alternative, inlays and onlays.

How are Cavities Usually Treated?

Typically, cavities are treated in one of two ways, amalgam fillings or composite resin fillings. Each of these fillings has their advantages, as well as their disadvantages. Made up of a mixture of metals in liquid mercury, amalgam fillings are known for their strength. These fillings can stand up to the strongest biting forces, which makes them perfect for cavities in your back teeth. However, these fillings are silver, which makes them aesthetically undesirable. The components of these fillings also often raise concerns with many patients.

Composite resin fillings, on the other hand, contain no metal and no mercury. Made from a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials, they are also the same color as natural teeth. After they have been placed, they blend in with the surrounding structure, making them the perfect solution for more visible teeth. However, these fillings are nowhere near as strong as amalgam. While they can withstand biting pressures at the front of the mouth, they are often vulnerable at the back.

Alternative Treatment with Inlays and Onlays

Both amalgam and composite resin fillings present issues when placed on the chewing surfaces of your molars. Amalgam fillings essentially become wedges that can cause your tooth to split in half with repeated biting and chewing. Composite resin, being weaker, can break down quickly when placed in this location, and may even shatter.

Inlays and onlays are made for these types of cavities. Typically made from porcelain, they are fillings designed to strengthen the affected tooth. The porcelain used for these fillings is not the porcelain associated with delicate plates. In fact, it is quite strong and can stand up to most normal daily use. Inlays and onlays are what are known as indirect fillings, which means that they are created in a lab based on an impression of your tooth. When only one cusp of your molar is affected by a cavity, an inlay is used. When two or more cusps are affected, we use an onlay. Also commonly called a partial crown, onlays rebuild the structure of your damaged tooth.

Placing Your Indirect Fillings

Inlays and onlays take two visits to complete. At your first appointment, we drill the decay away from the cavity and thoroughly clean the tooth. Next, an impression is taken. This impression is sent to a dental lab. There, your inlay or onlay is custom created based on the exact parameters of your mouth. While you wait for your filling to be completed and sent back, a temporary filling is placed inside the cavity to provide protection. Once the filling is ready, it is sent back, and you return for your second appointment. At this appointment, we remove the temporary filling, check the inlay or onlay for fit and color, and cement it into place inside the cavity.

What are the Benefits of Inlays and Onlays?

Both inlays and onlays offer some benefits.

•  The porcelain material can be made to blend in perfectly with the exact color of your natural enamel. Not only that, but porcelain does not contain any metals or any mercury, making them an ideal solution for more patients.
•  They strengthen the affected tooth.
•  They require less drilling, enabling you to keep more of the natural tooth structure.
•  They are less invasive, and less costly, than a crown.
•  The fillings are created from the exact parameters of your tooth, providing a perfect fit inside the cavity.

Cavities in the chewing surfaces of your molars present a unique problem that cannot be solved with traditional fillings. Inlays and onlays provide an effective alternative treatment for these cavities. If you have any questions, call Rogue Valley Dental Center today at (541) 779-4517. We offer cosmetic dental services like teeth whitening, dental veneers and more.
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Inlays & Onlays | Dentist Medford, OR | Rogue Valley Dental Center
Inlays and onlays are fillings that are typically made from porcelain to strengthen the affected tooth. Call Rogue Valley Dental Center to restore your teeth!
Rogue Valley Dental Center, 1150 Crater Lake Ave, Suite E, Medford, OR 97504-6213 • (541) 779-4517 • medforddentalcenter.com • 11/28/2023 • Associated Words: dentist Medford OR •