Besides gum disease, the most common dental ailment in the United States is the cavity. Cavities are holes in the tooth enamel caused by plaque and decay. When left untreated, a cavity becomes a gateway to the interior of the tooth, allowing decay and bacteria to get inside and damage the soft pulp. This can lead to infections and even permanent tooth loss.
To avoid the hazards of cavities, dentists often use traditional fillings. At Beverly Dental Group in Beverly, MA, though, we believe there is another solution as well. We currently offer durable and protective alternatives like inlays and onlays.
Dental inlays and onlays are alternatives to traditional fillings. They are pieces of solid material that are inserted into a cavity or dental damage to reinforce the structure and prevent future decay. The material is often fitted precisely, forming a tight seal with the enamel so bacteria cannot reach the internal soft tissues.
Inlays and onlays are similar but slightly different in design. An inlay fits primarily inside of a tooth with only a little bit of material visible along the top. An onlay, on the other hand, has material along the top to reinforce and support the cusp. Our dentist will decide which one would better suit your situation during your appointment.
There are four primary materials available to individuals seeking treatment: amalgam (silver), gold, composite resin, or porcelain. Each one has unique advantages and disadvantages, as well as varying price points. Amalgam and gold are more traditional, but they’re also extremely durable. A single amalgam inlay or onlay can last anywhere from 5 to 20 years.
When choosing your material, it’s important to look at cost and durability. Composite resin and porcelain are inexpensive and form a tight seal. Amalgam and gold are durable and long-lasting, but tend to be more expensive.
If you are unsure of what you want, visit us at Beverly Dental Group in Beverly, MA today.