Inlays and onlays are restorative treatments that are used to repair teeth that have undergone mild to moderate decay or damage, or teeth that are fractured or cracked. They are a great way to restore a tooth that has not been damaged enough to require the full coverage offered by a dental crown but cannot be repaired with a traditional dental filling.
Inlays and onlays can be made using composite resin or porcelain. Dental inlays are used to treat teeth that have decay or damage between the cusps of the teeth, while onlays are used to treat decay that reaches out to one or more cusps.
The placement of inlays and onlays usually takes two appointments. During your first visit, we will clean the tooth and remove the damaged portion. Next, we will take impressions of the cleaned tooth. A temporary inlay or onlay is placed on the affected tooth while the final one is prepared in a dental lab. During your next appointment, the temporary restoration is removed, and the permanent one is placed on the tooth using a bonding material.
Advantages of restoring a tooth using Inlays and Onlays:
- They are natural-looking restorations that are made to match your natural tooth color.
- Inlays and onlays can replace large silver fillings to create a natural and healthy smile.
- As opposed to metal fillings, inlays and onlays do not contract or expand with a change in temperature (caused by hot or cold foods).
- They are durable and can last for many years.
- By saving decayed teeth, inlays and onlays prevent the need for more extensive treatment later.