There are a few things that are as common as dental cavities in our world. At Dental Care of Boca Raton in Boca Raton, we see cavities weekly. They’re either detected during checkups, or patients come in complaining of tooth pain that turns out to be due to a cavity.
Most people are aware that fillings are often used to treat cavities. At Dental Care of Boca Raton, we find that many of our patients aren’t as familiar with inlays and onlays. These are additional tools that we can use to treat dental cavities. While fillings are great, sometimes they’re not enough.
Cavities need to be occupied. Unfortunately, teeth don’t regenerate in that sense, and the cavity can’t be replaced by natural parts. We need to fill cavities using fillings, inlays, or onlays. The first thing we do is examine your mouth. We check for other cavities that might not be causing discomfort as they need to be treated to.
We might ask for a dental x-ray. This helps show us the roots of your teeth, the jawbones, and how deep the cavity it. Determining depth through examination can be difficult. Based on what the x-ray shows, we’ll tell you what we think is best.
The first step is to clean the cavity and remove the infected tissue. This is done after the area is numbed using local anesthesia. Small cavities can then be filled with fillings. Larger cavities are filled using inlays. Inlays reach the biting surfaces of teeth but don’t cover them.
Larger cavities or ones where we also want to covert part of the biting surface of a tooth are best filled using onlays. Onlays are larger than inlays but smaller than crowns. A crown covers almost the entire exterior surface of the tooth. Before any of these are placed, the infected area will have to be cleaned first.
Patients who get inlays, onlays, or fillings can resume their lives normally. You’ll be able to drive yourself home and eat the same day. Just wait until the effect of the anesthetic wears off.