If you have an area on the biting surface of one of your teeth where decay was present, and it is currently covered with a filling that needs to be removed due to aging, your dentist may recommend having a crown placed over the area. Some dentists use the process of placing an inlay or onlay over the area instead. It is risky to place another filling over an area on a tooth with substantial decay, as the removal of the old filling often takes additional portions of the original tooth with it. Here are some reasons why finding a dentist who will exchange the filling for a porcelain inlay or onlay can be more beneficial than placing a crown.
Made To Fit With You In Mind
Both inlays (used on the area of the biting surface of a tooth between the cusps) and onlays (used on the biting surface of a tooth including one or more of the cusps) are made in a laboratory according to specifics gathered about your particular tooth's surface. You will be guaranteed a snug fit over the decayed area, as the mold is custom-made.
Your Original Tooth Stays Intact
You will still have a functioning tooth beneath the inlay or onlay, as the porcelain is fit over only the portion where it is needed. Crowns require that the existing tooth is filed down, making it no longer structurally sound until the crown is in place.
Increases The Strength Of The Tooth
The material an inlay or onlay is made from is stronger than that of a damaged tooth. When it is adhered to your tooth, it gives it stability, making it much more durable as a result. The porcelain protects the weakened areas of the tooth without the need of reshaping the tooth to get this protection as you would need with a crown.
Looks Like Your Real Tooth
Resin fillings often become stained after being in place for a substantial amount of time due to acidic foods and beverages such as wine or coffee, as well as from nicotine if you are a smoker. Replacing this filling will give you a more blended smile, as the coloring used in the porcelain used to construct inlays and onlays can be matched against your real teeth. Since only a portion of your teeth is being covered with the material, it is much less noticeable than if you had a crown that was not quite the same shade as the rest of your teeth.