What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Orange County Inlays and OnlaysMetal fillings have traditionally been used to treat cavities. Unfortunately, metal fillings leave the teeth looking less than perfect. With inlays or onlays treatment, your old metal fillings can be replaced to leave your teeth looking flawless. If you are looking for an Orange County cosmetic dentistry practice, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen. In the meantime, read on to learn about inlays and onlays and what this treatment can do for you.

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are treatments designed to restore teeth damaged by tooth decay. Traditional fillings, inlays, and onlays are made of tooth colored materials, either porcelain or composite resin. Though inlays and onlays are used much in the same way as dental fillings, inlays and onlays are quite different.

A key difference is the treatment process for inlays and onlays. Traditional fillings are placed in a single dental visit, but inlays and onlays typically require two appointments. This is because inlays and onlays are custom made in a dental lab from impressions taken of the teeth. The impression is made during the first dental visit after the tooth is cleaned and all decayed areas are removed. When replacing old fillings with an inlay or onlay, the filling will be removed before the impression is made. Once the impression is made, a temporary filling will be place while the inlay or onlay is crafted. Once finished, a second dental appointment is needed to place the new inlay or onlay. 

The Difference between an Inlay and Onlay

Though inlays and onlays are used in similar ways, they are different from one another. Both inlays and onlays are used to treat decay and restore strength and function to damaged rear teeth (the molars and pre-molars), but they are used to treat different areas and amounts of damage.

Inlays are the smaller restoration of the two treatments. Inlays are used to treat decay and damage within the cusps of the back teeth. The cusps are the bumpy structures along the top of the molars that aid in chewing. Inlays are specifically used when decay is minimal and does not extend to the cusps.

Onlays, like inlays, are used to treat dental decay and damage. Onlays are different from inlays in that they are used when the damage is more extensive, which is why onlays are sometimes called partial crowns. Onlays are used when damage extends beyond one or more cusps, even as far as the side of a tooth.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen

The benefits of inlay and onlay treatment are endless. After undergoing treatment, patients enjoy the confidence of a smile free of unsightly metal restorations. Inlays and onlays are just one of many treatments to restore the look and function of your teeth.

Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen offers patients in Orange County full mouth reconstruction treatments, including inlays, onlays, and dental fillings, to improve oral health and appearance. We invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen today for your personalized treatment plan.

Periodontal Disease Treatments

Orange County Gum Disease TreatmentsThough the early signs of gum disease may go unnoticed or even ignored, untreated gum disease can lead to major dental problems. Gum disease begins with mild symptoms, which can progress to serious problems including tooth loss. Orange County cosmetic dentist Dao Kim Pham-Nguyen offers a number of procedures to treat gum disease. We invite you to schedule a consultation for your personalized treatment plan.  

What Is Gum Disease and What Are the Symptoms?

Gum disease, or periodontal disease, is an infection of the gum tissue. Gum disease is caused by bacteria and plaque buildup. Because the teeth can be difficult to clean below the gum line, plaque and bacteria tend to build up along the gum line and underneath the gums, resulting in gum disease.

Gum disease has two stages, the first is called gingivitis and the second, more severe stage is called periodontitis. The symptoms of each stage are as follows:

  • Gingivitis: The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis. The symptoms of gingivitis are sometimes very mild, making them difficult to discern. Symptoms of gingivitis include gums that are red, swollen, and tender, and gums that bleed when brushing and flossing.
  • Periodontitis: The second stage of gum disease is periodontitis. Periodontitis is the most severe form of gum disease and results when infection has extended well below them gum line and into the jaw bone and surrounding tissue. The symptoms periodontitis include persistent bad breath, pockets around the teeth, and tooth loss.

Gum Disease Treatments

Gum disease treatments vary depending on the severity of infection. Treating the early stages of gum disease begins with practicing proper oral hygiene and seeing your dentist for regular dental checkups. Treating advanced gum disease may require multiple treatments. Treatments for gum disease include:

  • Practice Proper Oral Hygiene: Practicing proper oral hygiene is key to eliminating and preventing gum disease. Proper oral hygiene includes brushing at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes per brushing, flossing once a day, and seeing a dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash can also be beneficial in reducing the risk of developing gum disease.
  • Root Planing and Scaling: Root planing and scaling is a deep cleaning procedure designed to remove plaque buildup from above and below the gum line and create a smooth surface to which the gums can re-attach.
  • Gingivectomy: A gingivectomy may need to be performed to remove diseased gum tissue. During a gingivectomy, infected tissue is surgically removed and the gums are reshaped.
  • Flap Procedure: The flap procedure is a treatment in which portions of the gums are cut, creating a flap, and pulled away from the tooth. The tooth roots are then thoroughly cleaned, and any bone damage is repaired. Finally, the flap is stitched back in place. 
  • Bone Grafts: A bone graft may need to be performed if the gum disease has spread to the jaw bone. Bone grafts are used to replace damaged bone and can be done with either bone from your own body or a synthetic grafting material.

Schedule a Consultation

Don’t put off treatment! If you have suffered from tooth loss as a result of gum disease, we can restore your smile. For our patients in Orange County, dental implants are the preferred option for the replacement of missing teeth. Schedule a consultation today to see which treatments are right for you.