When it comes to dental health, a holistic approach involves considering both the health and aesthetic aspects of tooth structure. You’ve heard about all of the obvious ways to keep your teeth healthy (brushing, flossing, regular dental cleanings,etc.), as well as common dental fixes (fillings and the dreaded root canal come to mind), but these are far from the only options to fix your smile. Another, more intermediate option, is dental overlays. Never heard of them? There’s no shame in that. For this month’s blog post, we’re going to take a look at what dental overlays are, how they could help your dental health, and why Plancich Dental is your holistic dentistry partner.
The Different Types of OverlaysGenerally, dental overlays are used to fix tooth problems that fall into a certain sweet spot: not bad enough to require a crown, while needing more than just a filling. There are two main types of dental overlays to consider: inlays and onlays. While these names may give away a little bit about what each does, we’re still going to look at both in more detail, in order to give you the tools you need to buoy your dental health.
- Inlays: Inlays are used when a cavity in your tooth is too large for a typical filling. Your dentist will create a single, solid, porcelain inlay, specifically shaped and sized to fit your cavity, before cementing it in place.
- Onlays: Onlays are one step up from inlays, because they cover the cusp of a tooth. This gives onlays an increased presence in restoring your tooth structure, while being fabricated and cemented in a similar way to inlays.
Why You Might Need An OverlayAs you may have noted from the above outline, overlays are an extremely versatile tool in the dental health toolbox. Thanks to this, they can help fix many of the problems, health and aesthetic, which you may be facing.
- Integrative Health: When it comes to cavities, a filling actually leaves the tooth in a weaker state than it began, albeit with the rot cleared out. On the other hand, overlays actually improve the strength of the tooth structure, bringing the tooth’s strength as close to original as is possible. Ask your dentist about whether an inlay or an onlay might actually be better for your cavity than a filling.
- Cosmetics: By helping to rebuild your tooth structure, dental overlays are also an excellent way to brighten up your smile. By covering the biting surface of the tooth, overlays allow your dentist to match the color of your other teeth better, keeping your dental problems your little secret.