Even the most effective and diligent oral hygiene routine can still allow a small cavity to develop on one of your teeth. Most cavities are found during the course of your regular dental checkup. However, if you do notice one in your mouth, or you have a tooth that has recently developed a sensitivity issues you should contact your dentist immediately. The size of the decayed enamel will influence the type of filling or method used to repair and restore the function of the tooth.
Inlays and onlays are similar types of fillings, most commonly used on molars and some premolars. Most are made from porcelain or gold. The primary difference between the two is related to the size and location of the cavity.
An Inlay is used to repair a large cavity on the biting surface of a tooth. An onlays is usually larger and used to fill a cavity that extends from the biting surface to the side of the tooth.
If a large area of tooth decay is allowed to spread, it can compromise too much enamel to be repaired by a filling alone. This will prompt your dentist to recommend restoring the tooth with a crown. To be fitted for a crown your dentist will remove most of the tooth enamel to create an abutment. A temporary crown is then cemented over top while a dental lab prepares a permanent crown made from porcelain gold or base metals.
If you have questions about what type of filling you might need, feel free to call us at 818-886-6100 to schedule an appointment.