Subscribe to feed
1/26/2016 10:30:00 AM | Sandy Point

Inlays and onlays are both minimally invasive tooth restorations, but they're not exactly the same. There are some key differences between the two that make them used for slightly different purposes in restoring decayed or damaged teeth.

How are Inlays and Onlays Similar?

Inlays and onlays are made from materials such as porcelain, gold, or cured composite resins. They're customized to fit into a hole or cavity in a tooth, and are fixed in place with a bonding resin. Because inlays and onlays are made from a solid block of material, tooth impressions are traditionally used to mold the restoration. As a result, it typically takes two dental visits to have these kinds of restorations fitted and placed. Dental offices with CEREC technology will create and fit your inlay and onlay in one dental visit without impressions.

How are Inlays and Onlays Different?

Generally, onlays are placed over the cusp of a tooth. The cusps are the biting surfaces of a tooth that project up from the tops of molars; if you run your tongue over your molars, you can feel the cusps sticking up and forming hard bumps on the top of each tooth. In contrast, inlays are placed between the cusps, in the small depression in the center of the tooth's surface that is mainly used for chewing.

Because onlays can be made to cover multiple surfaces as well as the area between cusps, they can be used to treat teeth that are more extensively damaged. Many dentists will use an onlay as a more conservative restoration procedure rather than a crown. This practice will limit the removal of healthy tooth structure as a more conservative approach to restoring a healthy bite.

In most cases, what determines whether a damaged tooth is treated with an inlay, onlay, or another kind of restoration altogether, is the surface area of the damage. In terms of the amount of damage they can treat, inlays and onlays fall somewhere between fillings and crowns, so they're useful for mild to moderate cases of damage and decay.

Sandy Point Dental provides convenient same day restorations via CEREC technology. This advanced system allows our Lake Zurich restoration dentist the ability to create crowns, inlays, onlays and veneers in a single dental visit. Contact our office to schedule an appointment.

1/20/2016 11:00:00 AM | Sandy Point

Good oral hygiene habits go a long way towards keeping tooth decay at bay, but because some people are more at risk of decay than others, it can also be important to seek professional fluoride treatment from your dentist. Generally you have a couple of different options for fluoride treatments: topical treatments that are applied to the teeth, and oral or systemic treatments that are swallowed.

Topical Fluoride Treatments

Topical treatments are applied directly to the teeth. Examples of topical treatments you can use at home are fluoride toothpastes and mouthwashes. Your dentist can also provide additional kinds of fluoride treatments such as gels, foams, and varnishes. Your dentist applies these treatments directly to your teeth or onto a plastic mouth tray, and they're left on for several minutes.

Dentists typically recommend topical fluoride treatments for people who have an increased risk of tooth decay. There are many reasons why this can be the case: among other things, lack of access to regular dental care, alcohol or drug abuse, an eating disorder, decreased saliva production, poor diet, and tooth enamel defects can all contribute to an increased risk of decay, and might prompt extra fluoride treatments.

Oral Fluoride Treatments

Oral fluoride treatments are those that are swallowed. The most common one that most Americans have access to is fluoride-treated drinking water. For people who don't have access to treated water, a dentist will often prescribe oral supplements such as drops, lozenges, or tablets. However, it's unusual for dentists to prescribe extra oral treatments for people who do have access to fluoride-treated water; in these cases the more common recommendation is additional topical treatments.

Which is Best?

When it comes to protecting your teeth, it's important to have a conversation with your dentist on your particular situation.  In fact, the American Dental Association says that for the best tooth protection, it's important to use both methods. Your Lake Zurich dentist will help you gauge what and how much is needed in order to not over fluoride and create separate problems. For example, combining a good at-home oral hygiene routine with professional fluoride treatments from your dentist may be the best way to protect your teeth from decay.

Contact Sandy Point Dental for more information on fluoride treatments and to schedule your next appointment. 

1/11/2016 12:36:00 PM | Sandy Point

Teeth are very strong, and with proper care they'll last a lifetime. But even so, damage and decay can put your teeth at risk of chips and cracks. If you have a cracked tooth, getting treatment ASAP is important to prevent pain and further cracking. A tooth can crack in a number of different ways, and each of these can require a different kind of treatment to repair the damage.

Craze Lines

These are fine cracks that only affect the tooth's outer enamel. They don't extend into softer tissues such as dentin and pulp, so they're very minor and they don't cause pain or other problems. As a result they don't require immediate treatment, although some people might want to have a cosmetic restoration to improve the appearance.

Fractured Cusp

The cusps of teeth are the hard protrusions that act as biting surfaces. These can become fractured, especially if the cusp has been repaired with a filling. In most cases the pulp inside the tooth isn't damaged, and there's little or no pain. To fix this, your dentist will replace the filling to include the fractured area.

Cracked Tooth

Tooth cracks usually form at the top of the tooth, where the chewing surface is located. They extend vertically down the tooth, and may or may not extend to the root. Getting a cracked tooth treated quickly is important, as without treatment the crack may continue to lengthen. Providing the crack is treated before it extends to the gumline, it can be treated with a root canal. However if the crack extends past the gumline, the only solution is to extract the tooth.

Split Tooth

A split tooth is usually one that was left untreated after suffering a crack. If the crack extends all the way through the tooth, it may actually split into two parts. At this stage only a portion of the tooth can be saved, and in some cases extraction may be the only possible treatment.

Cracked Tooth Root

These cracks start at the root of a tooth rather than the crown, and extend up towards the surface. Because they're situated below the gumline they're not always diagnosed right away, and may only be noticed if the gum or bone becomes infected. A root canal may save the tooth, but if the damage is too extensive it may need to be extracted.

Take Care of Teeth to Prevent Cracks

While most cracks can be restored, don't forget that prevention is a better strategy! Avoid chewing hard objects, try to avoid habits like tooth-grinding, and take care of your teeth with regular dental visits and good oral hygiene to help prevent cracks and other types of damage.

Contact Sandy Point Dental for more information about tooth cracks or to schedule an appointment to have your teeth examined and restored by our same-day-crown, CEREC technology.

10/6/2015 1:04:00 PM | Sandy Point

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Sandy Point Dental blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Sandy Point Dental, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!

Subscribe to feed