All dentists desire to preserve as much natural tooth structure as they can. Dr. Leslie Metzger, your dentist in Farmington at Monet Aesthetic Dentistry, works toward this goal. Preventive, restorative and cosmetic dentistry is her passion. As such, she places beautifully seamless onlays and inlays, as well as porcelain crowns and bridgework, restoring smiles to full function and wonderful aesthetics. Do you know the details on these restorations?
Crowns, Inlays and Onlays
An inlay is a customized porcelain restoration placed in the center of the chewing surface of a large tooth such as a molar. It resides among the cusps, or corners, of the tooth and replaces tooth decay with a durable, bonded-in piece of ceramic. The bonding is strong and permanent, and the color is well-matched to remaining natural enamel.
An onlay is crafted from porcelain as well. It covers the whole chewing surface of a tooth, including the corners. Dentists sometimes call onlays “partial crowns” because like full crowns, they restore the full form and function of a failing or injured tooth or a tooth that has a large amalgam filling.
Also, inlays and onlays frequently make great alternatives to full porcelain crowns. Partial crowns replace only the damaged part of a tooth, leaving the rest of the tooth completely intact. A full crown involves substantial grinding down of tooth structure, shaping it to receive the restoration. In short, inlays and onlays preserve more natural tooth structure than full crowns do.
For individuals missing one or more teeth in a row, Dr. Metzger may use inlays, onlays or full crowns to create a natural-looking and functioning bridge. Fixed bridgework spans smile gaps with custom-crafted pontics, or artificial teeth. Inlays, onlays or full crowns may be used to anchor the artificial teeth to adjoining healthy teeth.
Whatever the case, Dr. Metzger will help you decide what restoration option is best for your situation. Often, she uses sophisticated E4D technology to crafts these restorations in one dental visit, saving the patient time and the inconvenience of wearing a temporary restoration.
E4D technology involves digital impressions and computer-aided design. An in-office milling machine uses digital oral impressions and the doctor’s instructions to craft a porcelain inlay, onlay, bridge or crown while the patient waits. Dr. Metzger bonds the prosthetic in place and adjusts its fit and bite. Amazingly, the entire process happens in just one appointment at Monet Aesthetic Dentistry, and the results are durable and long-lasting.
What Restoration is Best for You?
It may be a natural-looking inlay, onlay, crown or bridge. However, only your dentist, Dr. Metzger, can tell you through a complete oral exam and X-rays. If you have a failing tooth, wish to eliminate amalgam fillings or need tooth replacement, please contact Monet Aesthetic Dentistry for a restorative dentistry consultation. You’ll love all the wonderful options you have for strengthening and beautifying your smile.