A visit to the dentist may alert you to the need for a tooth repair using onlays and inlays. If you do not usually have issues with tooth damage, these terms may be unfamiliar. When facing new dental territory, it may help to get more insight into the options before choosing a treatment plan.Tooth decay…
What Are Indirect Dental Restorations?
Indirect dental restorations are not applied directly to teeth being treated with them. These restorations are typically made in a dental lab, but dentists can make them on site if they have the equipment.
Overall, indirect dental restorations have many uses in dentistry, from fixing tooth decay to improving the way that a person’s teeth look. Many restorations used in dentistry, like crowns, have cosmetic and restorative purposes, but some, like veneers, are purely cosmetic.
Commonly used indirect dental restorations
Let us take a look at the commonly used indirect dental restorations in dentistry.
1. Inlays and onlays
These restorations are typically used to treat tooth decay or damage that is too severe to be covered up with fillings. They are made from the impressions of the patient’s teeth in a dental lab. The finished restorations should be ready for installation in a couple of weeks, when the patient comes in for a second appointment.
These restorations are versatile because they can be used for cosmetic and restorative purposes. Crowns can fix a wide range of dental issues, like severe tooth decay or damage, discoloration, deformities, and gaps between teeth.
Preparing a tooth for a crown requires the dentist to shave off enamel from its sides. The process cannot be reversed in the future, so the tooth will always need a restoration to protect it moving forward. An impression of the prepared tooth is used to make the patient’s customized crown.
Veneers are an indirect restoration often used by dentists. They serve strictly cosmetic purposes and can drastically improve the way that a person’s teeth look. Each veneer is shaped like a real tooth and is cemented over a tooth's front surface.
Each tooth needs to be prepared for its veneer by removing enamel from its front side. This allows for a better bond with the veneer, but the process is irreversible. Those who would rather not have significant portions of enamel removed from their teeth can explore "no prep" veneers. These do not require the removal of any enamel.
Issues that veneers can be used to treat include:
- Stained and discolored teeth
- Gaps between teeth
- Crooked teeth
- Short teeth
- Minor teeth alignment issues
4. Dental bridges
These restorations are used to close the gaps created by missing teeth. The bridge is anchored to the two teeth closest to the gap. These are typically covered with crowns, so they provide more stability for the bridge. The artificial teeth that make up the bridge are made from an impression of the patient’s teeth in a lab. They are attached to the two teeth used as anchors in order to restore the patient’s smile.
Restore your teeth
Call or visit our Boca Raton clinic if you have a dental issue that might require an indirect restoration.
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