Today’s dentistry relies on a conservative and minimalistic approach. It is not necessary anymore to remove excessive and healthy amount of tooth structure in order to restore it and to fit a dental crown.
An inlay and an onlay restore only the part of the tooth that has been damaged by bonding the material to the rest of the tooth. Subsequently, the tooth will regain its aesthetic morphology and its function in the oral cavity.
Another time when we use this technique is when the cavity is too widespread, a direct restoration is inadequate to support the occlusal forces and to reshape precisely the tooth, especially on the deep proximal areas.
In addition, composite fillings shrink during the curing process, while customized fabricated porcelain or composite inlays and onlays are not.This ensures an excellent fit within the tooth, avoids the tooth sensitivity and prevents a possible reappearance of decay under the restoration.
An inlay is a restoration located within the center of the tooth, while an onlay is made when the damage involves one cusp or more.
Doing an inlay or onlay preserve the maximum amount of tooth structure and hence, avoid tooth weakening and ensure a longer lasting on the dental arch.
Usually, after removing decay from the tooth, the dentist takes an impression of the tooth and sends it to a dental laboratory where they fabricate the inlay or the onlay. During this time, the tooth is filled with a temporary material. At the second session, the temporary filling is removed and the inlay or onlay is bonded to the reparative tooth.
In our clinic we offer a superior and up-to-date option. We use the CAD CAM technology which allows us to accomplish a tooth restoration in one visit instead of two without requiring any temporary fillings.
CAD CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing) technology in dentistry consists of an acquisition unit and a milling unit. With the help of the camera unit, the dentist can visualize a 3-D custom image of your teeth and gums on the CAD CAM computer screen. This allows him to draw a precise design of the tooth restoration using a cursor. The whole information is then downloaded and sent to the program software which will send wirelessly the directions from the acquisition unit to the milling unit. The milling unit will then fabricate the custom-restoration through porcelain or a composite block.
After a milling time of only 7 min, the new inlay or onlay is bonded to the restorative tooth.
This technique will allow the dentist to design, fabricate and fit a restoration in only one visit, making the dental session less frequent and more comfortable for the patient.