Restoring your teeth to their original pristine state is the job of restorative dentistry. This collection of procedures rebuilds teeth that have been damaged through injury or decay, and can also be employed cosmetically by dentist to improve your teeth’s appearance, shape, colour, or alignment. When done correctly, restorative dentistry offers both function and form.
Your modern dental practice fills cavities with white filings in place of the silver amalgam ones, which interfered with the natural look of your teeth. Similarly, composite resin or porcelain inlays support the tooth, as well as providing the requisite structural support. Matched perfectly to the colour of your original teeth, these solutions provide both functional and aesthetically pleasing solutions to dental problems. They also have an advantage of being finished in only one sitting.
An inlay replaces tooth structure within the cusps of the tooth, while an onlay is more of an extensive restoration – in some cases, serving to hold the tooth together. They are not as invasive as a crown, and provide an exceptionally strong surface and interior support. They require moulding and fabrication by a dental ceramist, and are then bonded to your tooth in a separate appointment. A temporary patch is provided over the tooth in order to avoid any discomfort while your onlay is created.
For an onlay, you will undergo two separate appointments by dentist, involving:
Tooth preparation, impression of the tooth, and fabrication and insertion of a temporary restoration patch.
Removal of patch, insertion of final inlay/onlay, and bonding to tooth.
These advanced procedures are able to preserve the look and feel of your natural teeth, and can resurrect teeth damaged from decay or injury.