Cosmetic dentistry refers to the field that focuses on improving the aesthetic appearance of one's smile while also preserving the health of the teeth and gums.What many do not know about cosmetic dentistry is that many general dentists can and do perform these types of procedures. There are, of course, dentists who focus solely on…
Can A Full Mouth Reconstruction Involving Inlays and Onlays Restore Existing Teeth?
Candidates for a full mouth reconstruction are usually patients with varied and extensive dental problems. Such individuals require procedures that target most or all their teeth. A person who qualifies for the treatment will have a unique set of oral health issues. This means that a full mouth restoration always requires a custom treatment plan.
Dentists execute full mouth restorations over the course of several weeks or months. They start the treatment with procedures that tackle the most urgent dental issues first. Once those issues are out of the way, the dentist will proceed with a set of procedures that treat underlying oral health issues.
A full-mouth restoration
A patient that suffers from multiple dental health issues undergoes an exhaustive exam, during which their dentist evaluates every aspect of the person’s teeth, gums and jaws.
This patient evaluation includes a visual exam, medical imaging and the patient’s dental records. The resulting data determines the custom treatment plan for the full mouth reconstruction. Procedures include those to treat gum disease, tooth decay, bite issues and even tooth replacement.
A brief explainer on indirect fillings
A dentist treats small cavities by removing infected tissue and filling the cavities with a putty-like substance that takes on the shape of the cavity. The dentist then uses a curing light to solidify the filling. This type of dental restoration is known as a direct filling and it is commonly used during full mouth reconstructions.
Advanced tooth decay requires a different approach. That’s where indirect fillings like inlays and onlays come into play. An indirect filling is fabricated based on a mold of an individual’s prepared tooth. It goes in the cavity that forms when the dentist removes damaged and infected dental tissue.
Restoring existing teeth with dental inlays
Moderate tooth decay can cause the loss of some of the dental structure located right at the center of the tooth. In this scenario, the outer walls of the tooth remain intact while tooth decay eats away at the center of the tooth. An inlay replaces the lost dental tissue, extending right up to the biting surface but stopping short of covering the edges of the teeth.
As such, inlays reinforce the structural integrity of an existing tooth while protecting it from further infection.
How onlays restore existing teeth
Just like an inlay, an onlay is an indirect filling that sits in a tooth with a large hole in the middle. Unlike an inlay, an onlay also covers the edges or cusps of the tooth.
Onlays become an option when tooth decay damages the edges of the biting surface of the molar, in addition to creating a large hole in the center. A dentist will recommend an onlay to a patient whose molars have weaknesses on their biting surfaces. An onlay adds a layer of protection that keeps the cusps from crumbling or breaking apart.
Find out if full mouth reconstruction is the way to go
It is always a good idea to learn what options are available when it comes to fixing oral health problems. Dentists will lay out a custom full mouth reconstruction plan for each patient based on their needs. Reach out today to learn more or to get started!
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