Ever had a chipped or damaged tooth?
Most of us have. Sometimes it’s from eating something hard and sometimes it’s from decay.
Either way, there are times when a tooth is too damaged for a filling to work. Often this means having a tooth crowned, or capped.
But there are times when a tooth can’t support a filling but isn’t badly damaged enough to require a crown.
This is when an inlay or onlay is often used. Unfortunately, this type of restoration can require multiple trips to the dentist.
Here at Island Dental, we like to stay at the forefront of technology and offer our patients the very best. So, we can restore these sorts of problems in just one appointment.
Here’s how we do that.
How It Works
First, let’s take a quick look at what these procedures involve. An inlay is used when a cavity is too large for a filling. A single, solid piece is crafted to fit the exact shape and size of the cavity and cemented in place.
When the edge of a molar is chipped, an onlay may be the best solution. Rather than creating a crown, which covers the whole tooth, an onlay fits over the cusp of the tooth to restore it.
Dentists create inlays and onlays in one of two ways. One way is to prepare your tooth, and then take an impression that is sent off to a lab.
The lab creates the piece needed to restore your tooth and then sends it to the dentist, who fits it on your second visit. Because this often takes a couple of weeks, you have a temporary filling at your initial visit which is removed at your second visit.
We’re always looking for ways to make life easier and more comfortable for our patients, so we do things differently. We use CEREC technology.
This means there’s no need for the uncomfortable impression tray in your mouth, and we can make the inlays and onlays on site. So, you don’t need to have a temporary filling for several appointments.
CEREC stands for Chair-side Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. CEREC can create custom-made, solid porcelain pieces to restore a damaged tooth.
Inlays and onlays are made of porcelain that’s durable and lasts many years. The physical characteristics of porcelain are as close to that of your natural tooth structure that we can get. We custom-make each inlay and onlay to ensure that we get the exact size and colour.
Why do we use inlays and onlays? Well, because:
- We can preserve more of your natural tooth.
- Porcelain inlays look natural and are more durable than metal fillings
- Teeth become stronger with porcelain inlays, whereas metal fillings weaken teeth
- porcelain inlays do not contract and expand with temperature changes, so they won’t crack your teeth
- Inlays offer perfect contours for healthy gums.
Here’s a short video to explain the CEREC process.
When you come in for a tooth restoration, we prepare the tooth and then take photographs with the CEREC camera. The camera images are sent to the computer, where we design the restoration.
When the design is complete, it’s transmitted to the unit that is right outside the room to create the inlay or onlay. The dentist inserts a block of ceramic that’s the right tooth colour to match your teeth.
Your dentist will then check the piece to ensure a comfortable fit before the restoration is polished and fixed with dental cement.
These restorations have many advantages over laboratory-produced porcelain restorations and since we were on the the first practices in Australia to purchase this technology, we are very experienced in its use.
At Island Dental your experience is important to us. We treat our patients as we would like to be treated ourselves.
If you have questions about CEREC, tooth restoration, or other health concerns we’d love to hear from you. Your health is our top priority.
- No unpleasant impression material
- No follow-up appointment
- No bothersome temporary filling