Inlays & Onlays
Inlays or onlays are a restorative treatment that can restore a tooth when more than half of the tooth’s biting surface has been damaged.
What are Inlays/Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are designed to save teeth that are extremely damaged or decayed. They are laid overtop of a tooth to help ensure there is no further decay and to maintain its strength. Inlays are shaped to fit inside of a damaged tooth. Onlays are designed to secure weaker or more decayed teeth and extend outside the cusps of the tooth. Both are custom made to fit an individuals mouth. To ensure no further decays occur, both inlays and onlays are securely bonded to the tooth.
What is the procedure for inlays and onlays?
It will take two appointments to complete your inlay or onlay procedure. During the first appointment, the damaged tooth and its surrounding area will be numbed and a dentist will remove any decay or damage. This prepares the tooth for the inlay or onlay. Then the dentist will take an impression of the tooth and place a temporary restoration in the damaged tooth. That impression is sent to a laboratory to create the inlay or onlay. At the second appointment, the dentist will fit the inlay or onlay onto the tooth and use resin to bond it to the tooth, completing the procedure.
Why choose an inlay or onlay?
Many people prefer inlay or onlay instead of traditional fillings because inlays and onlays can strengthen a decayed tooth while traditional fillings will weaken a tooth. They also are more aesthetically pleasing as they can look more like the natural tooth. Inlays and onlays are made of resin, gold or porcelain. Porcelain has become a popular choice recently as it allows the inlay and onlay to match the natural color of the tooth. Additionally inlays and onlays are also designed to last and you won’t have to worry about a chipped filling with them, thus preventing further treatment to the tooth.