Left unchecked small areas of tooth decay can easily develop into a very serious problem. Beyond simply compromising your ability to chew foods, they can also lead to total tooth loss, infection and can even abscess.
Inlays and onlays are names used to describe sizes and shapes of large fillings. They are most often made from porcelain or gold and used to deal with large areas of decay on molars and premolars. The most notable difference between these two types of fillings is directly related to the size and location of the cavity.
Inlay are used to repair large cavities localized only the biting surface or a tooth. Onlays are typically larger and include a portion of the side of the tooth as well as the biting surface.
If too much enamel has been compromised by tooth decay your dentist might recommend a crown to restore the tooth completely. A crown procedure involves the dentist removing most of the tooth enamel leaving an abutment. A temporary crown is then cemented over top while a dental lab prepares a permanent crown made from porcelain gold or base metals.
If you have questions about what type of filling you might need, feel free to call us at 623-566-1200 to schedule an appointment.