What to expect at your next dental visit

Ryan Sellinger, DMD
Article by
Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist

I am having an:

Inlay:
An inlay is a restoration which replaces a portion of missing tooth structure due to tooth decay or trauma to the tooth.

This procedure typically requires two visits.

First Visit: Approximately 1 hour

At the first visit the doctor will anesthetize the tooth (numb the tooth) to ensure that the procedure is painless. At the same visit the tooth is prepared to receive the restoration and an impression is made of the prepared tooth. Next a temporary restoration is made. This temporary seals the tooth until the final inlay can be cemented. The temporary can be used to eat, but it is recommended that sticky foods be avoided on the side that the temporary is on.

Second visit: Approximately 1 hour

At the second visit the temporary is removed. And the inlay is tried in and the bite is adjusted. After the inlay is fit to the mouth it is cemented into the tooth.

After treatment:

Typically after the first or second visits soreness or sensitivity is normal. This can last for a few days after treatment. If you do experience sensitivity, an over the counter NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil alleviates this.

Immediately after the inlay is cemented and after the numbness wears off, normal eating can resume

Onlay:
An onlay like an inlay is a restoration which replaces a portion of a tooth that is missing due to decay or trauma. Onlays differ from inlays in that they are used when more tooth structure is missing and prevention of vertical fracture of the tooth is necessary.

This procedure typically requires two visits.

First Visit: Approximately 1 hour

At the first visit the doctor will anesthetize the tooth (numb the tooth) to ensure that the procedure is painless. At the same visit the tooth is prepared to receive the restoration and an impression is made of the prepared tooth. Next a temporary restoration is made. This temporary seals the tooth until the final inlay can be cemented. The temporary can be used to eat, but it is recommended that sticky foods be avoided on the side that the temporary is on.

Second visit: Approximately 1 hour

At the second visit the temporary is removed. And the onlay is tried in and the bite is adjusted. After the inlay is fit to the mouth it is cemented into the tooth.

After treatment:

Typically after the first or second visits soreness or sensitivity is normal. This can last for a few days after treatment. If you do experience sensitivity, an over the counter NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil alleviates this.

Immediately after the onlay is cemented and after the numbness wears off, normal eating can resume.

Composite Filling:

A filling or a cavity is done when a tooth has decay or an old filling needs to be replaced due to leakage or recurrent decay.

This procedure is completed in one visit.

At the Visit: length of treatment varies based on how many filling are done in that visit.

Your doctor will anesthetize the tooth to be worked on. Next the decay or old filling is removed from the tooth. Than a tooth colored filling is placed in the cavity and the filling is carved to duplicate the anatomy of the original tooth. The filling is hardened with a curing light.

In cases where the decay is deep a liner is placed in the cavity before the filling is placed. The liner is placed to protect the nerve. If the decay or recurrent decay is worse it may affect the nerve and in this case a root canal may be necessary to restore the tooth.

After treatment:

In some cases depending on how deep the cavity was, you may experience some pot-operative sensitivity. This may be experienced while drinking cold beverages and in some cases breathing in cold air. This sensitivity should not persist more than a few days and is alleviated with an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) such as Advil. If the sensitivity persists more than a few days your doctor should be notified and an evaluation of the area should be done.

Veneers:

Veneers are thin ceramic shells that are bonded over your teeth. This therapy can be used to repair teeth that have been chipped or can replace bonding. Veneers can enhance the shape and color of your existing teeth as well as align maligned teeth. They are a conservative therapy to enhance your smile. Veneers can be placed on a single tooth or multiple teeth depending what the treatment goal is.

This procedure typically involves two visits in addition to a consultation visit to discuss the goal of the therapy.

First visit: Timing depends upon how many teeth are involved in the procedure (1-4 hours)

The teeth to be treated are anesthetized. Once the teeth are sufficiently “numb” the teeth are prepared to receive the veneers. Impressions are made of the prepared teeth in order to create casts of the teeth for the veneers to be fabricated. After the impressions are made temporaries are made to be worn in the mouth while the veneers are being made.

These temporaries serve as a “dress rehearsal” for the final veneers. The temporaries can be adjusted to make the teeth longer shorter and adjust small nuances to achieve your personalized beautiful smile. Once the temporaries are finalized, models of them can be used to guide in the fabrication of the final veneers. Veneers typically take approximately seven to ten days to fabricate and can be expedited to a day or two if necessary

Second visit: This visit is typically shorter than the first visit and depends on how many teeth are involved.

At the second visit the temporaries are removed and the teeth are disinfected and the veneers are tried in. Once both the doctor and the patient are satisfied with the esthetics, the teeth are bonded to the teeth. Minor adjustments to the bite are made once the veneers are bonded.

Crown:

This procedure typically involves two visits.

First visit: Approximately 1 hour depending on the complexity and position of the tooth in the mouth.

The area to be treated is anesthetized. The tooth is prepared to receive the crown. Next, impressions are made of the tooth in addition to the opposing teeth. After, a temporary crown is made and is cemented on the tooth. This temporary seals the tooth and will be fully functional until the definitive crown is fabricated. Sticky foods should be avoided in the area of the temporary as these tend to dislodge the temporary.
The cast that is made from the impression of the prepared tooth is sent to the lab and a crown is fabricated on the cast. Fabrication of the crown takes approximately seven to ten days and can be expedited in a day or two if necessary.

Second visit:

At the second visit the temporary is removed. The tooth or teeth to receive the crown is cleaned and disinfected along with the crown to be cemented. Radiographs are taken to verify seating of the crown. After the seating is verified the bite is adjusted, the crown is cemented.