The mouth is constantly exposed to food and beverages that leave particles and sugars on the teeth and along the gum line. In response, bacteria eat away at these particles and begin to thrive, resulting in plaque buildup. As plaque builds up on the teeth, it begins to eat away at the enamel and dentin layers of the teeth. Since tooth decay occurs in stages that get progressively worse, patients should undergo routine exams so dentists can check for tooth decay. Depending on how well the teeth are cleaned and how often the teeth are cared for by a professional, tooth decay can range from a problem that is mild to one that is more severe. Lansing cosmetic dentist Scott Stone recognizes that each case of tooth decay is unique and will recommend the most appropriate treatment for each of his patients. For more advanced stages of decay, Dr. Stone is likely to suggest inlays and onlays treatment.
When Are Inlays and Onlays Appropriate?
When tooth decay is detected early, the most likely treatment will be a dental filling. This serves to replace any lost enamel and protect the tooth from further decay. While this is often a successful form of treatment, sometimes the decay will be too extensive to be treated with a regular filling. In rear teeth with extensive decay, Dr. Stone can place an inlay or onlay. For large areas of decay that extend within the cusps of the teeth, an inlay can be applied. An onlay can be used to treat even larger areas of decay, including damage that includes one or more of the tooth’s cusps. If necessary, Dr. Stone can apply an onlay to the entire biting surface of the tooth. As with a regular dental filling, inlays and onlays strengthen the tooth by replacing material lost to tooth decay and sealing the tooth to protect against further decay. In some instances, the strength of the tooth may be so compromised that even inlays and onlays treatment will not be appropriate. For these patients in Lansing, dental crowns can treat the tooth and restore it to its natural function.
How Are Inlays and Onlays Applied?
Inlays and onlays are applied in a treatment process that very closely resembles that of a dental crown. To begin, Dr. Stone will thoroughly clean the tooth to ensure that all bacteria has been removed. Once the tooth is clean, an impression will be made of the tooth. This impression will be used to create the inlay or onlay. The inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental lab and applied at a second dental appointment. When the inlay or onlay is complete, it will be adhered to the tooth with a strong dental adhesive. When the inlay or onlay has been fitted properly, the entire tooth will be sealed off to block out bacteria. With the inlay or onlay in place, your tooth will be free of decay and will benefit from an increase in strength and function.
Schedule an Appointment
Your oral health should not be ignored. If dental problems are neglected they will only continue to worsen and cause more serious damage. Maintaining a regular schedule of dental exams and cleanings is a vital step in protecting your teeth. Make your oral health a priority and schedule an appointment with Dr. Scott Stone today.