Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are often referred to as partial crowns. They use the existing tooth as a base and fit the inlay or onlays onto the tooth. This is done to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent further damage. An inlay is done when there is no damage to the cusps of the tooth and the inlay can be placed right on the tooth. An inlay is used when the damage is a little more extensive.
The decayed area of the tooth is first removed during the procedure. A mold of the tooth is then taken and sent to a dental lab. They create a restoration made from porcelain, gold, or a composite resin. The restoration takes about 2-3 weeks to make, so a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed on the tooth for that time. During your next visit the inlay or onlay will be placed into your mouth and set with cement. Your tooth will look natural and you or anyone else won’t be able to tell the difference.
When decay occurs below the gumline, it may be necessary to remove a small amount of bone and gum tissue. Your dentist may ask for this procedure before he or she makes a new crown for your tooth.Crown Lengthening procedures are done for both restorative dentistry and/or to improve the esthetics of your gum line. General practitioners often refer for crown lengthening procedures prior to restoration of broken or severely decayed teeth. This procedure adjusts the gum and bone level to expose more of the tooth so it can be restored.Sometimes crown lengthening is done to improve a “gummy” smile because the teeth appear short. The teeth may actually be the proper length but excess gum tissue may be covering these teeth. During this procedure, excess gum and bone tissue is reshaped to expose more of the natural tooth.