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Dental Inlays and Onlays in Ballwin MO

General Dentistry Ballwin, MO

Our office is geared to provide you with what you need, when you need it, on a schedule that fits your life.

You have probably heard of getting fillings or crowns if you have dental decay and cavities that need to be filled in. Nevertheless, you may not be aware of some of the different alternatives that are available. A lot of dentists will be quick to point you in the direction of having a filling, but is this really going to be the best solution for you? There are other options available to consider, and this includes dental inlays and onlays. Read on to discover everything you need to know about these dental alternatives, and please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. 
Typically, fillings will be used when the cavities that need to be filled in are small in size. If there is a large fracture to cover up or the decay is much deeper, a crown can be a much better alternative. Nevertheless, there are a number of different situations whereby a filling is simply not going to be enough. At the same time, a crown will be too much, meaning that your teeth are not going to be the protection they need.  So, when something in the middle of the two is required, dental inlays and onlays are considered. Such treatment is more substantial than fillings, yet they are not intrusive as dental crowns are, which can involve the teeth being reshaped in some way.

Understanding the difference between inlays and onlays

Now that you know about inlays and onlays and when they are appropriate, we need to take a look at the difference between the two options. At their very basic definition, an inlay will fill in the hollows and the cavities within a tooth in the areas between the cusps. An onlay is not only going to ensure that these spaces are filled in, but they can work for a bigger area as well, including the cusps. They work in a similar manner as crowns do, yet the difference is that they will not cover the tooth’s full surface. They are both made using the same materials, and their function is the same as well, yet they cover different parts of the tooth to ensure the correct level and type of protection where there is decay to the tooth.

Further understanding the use of inlays and onlays in dentistry

So, let’s take a look at both dental solutions in further detail so you can get a better understanding:


Inlays will be molded and fitted into your tooth’s chewing surface; the area that has been damaged as a consequence of the injury or decay that you have experienced. They are manufactured via the use of an imprint of the impacted areas that will then be sent to a laboratory so that they can be manufactured. An inlay will be fitted perfectly into your tooth’s hollow, but they do not impact the cusps. When an impression is taken by Dr. Postol, he is also going to try his best to ensure a color match of the tooth as closely as they are able to. Therefore, when they are placed into your mouth they are not going to be noticeable. They will look natural instead. 
The material Dr. Postol is going to utilize for the inlay can either be a composite or a porcelain material that is more durable and stronger when compared with conventional fillings. This tends to mean that inlays are going to cost more than fillings will. However, they will also last a lot longer too. Dr. Postol will determine that this is the best solution when a filling is not going to strengthen the surrounding tooth properly and the cavity demands stronger materials so that the tooth can be fortified. 


So, now that you know all about inlays and the process that is entailed, let’s take a look at onlays in more detail. Onlays are used for damage and decay to the tooth’s cusps, as well as the biting surface. Dr. Postol will determine that an onlay is the best approach when a cavity is too large to be filled using an amalgam filling or that the weakness of the tooth could result in it cracking. Unlike a dental inlay, cusps can be included in this area, as can the space in between.
When it comes to preparation of the tooth for dentlay onlays, we will go about this in a similar manner to the preparation for a filling. The cavity will be drilled out, and the area will be cleaned up. This will happen after a numbing anesthetic is placed in the mouth. A temporary onlay will then be put on top of the cavity, and the impression will be sent off so that the creation of a permanent onlay can begin! Once the onlay has been manufactured, it will then be placed in your mouth once it arrives. This will ensure that the structure of the tooth is preserved. On the flip side, if you were to have a dental crown, some of the filling will need to be removed, and even the cusp, and so this is a much more intrusive type of dental treatment. 

Contact Kevin F. Postol, DDS today!

If you would like to find out more about inlays and onlays, or you are ready to schedule an appointment, please do not hesitate to contact us today for more information. We are always happy to answer any queries that you may have, no matter how big or small. We look forward to hearing from you and helping you to achieve a smile you can be confident about.

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