Inlays and Onlays
What are Inlays and Onlays?
An inlay or onlay is a restoration that is designed to cover the very top of a tooth. Inlays sit inside of the grooves and cusps of a compromised tooth, while the onlay sits over the very top of the tooth itself. You might need one or more of these restorations because an older, large filling needs to be replaced or because a tooth has cracked or broken across the very top. Inlays and onlays are designed to last for many decades before replacement is needed.
Why would Inlays and Onlays be needed?
Teeth rarely crack and break perfectly each time. For some patients, they have a crack that is going across the entire top of the tooth rather than down the tooth. In this case, an onlay or inlay can be a better option when compared to a full dental crown. Likewise, if you have a large filling that needs to be replaced, we might recommend having an inlay or onlay placed.
Who is a candidate for Inlays and Onlays?
To determine if an inlay or onlay is needed, we’ll perform a complete examination. Most patients who need either of these restorations can safely have the procedure done. In fact, some patients request this type of restoration because it is more durable than a typical dental filling and less invasive than a full crown. Older inlays and onlays should be replaced as they begin to show signs of wear.
What happens during the procedure for Inlays and Onlays?
The procedure begins with a local anesthetic that is used to numb the whole area within the mouth. We then remove any old filling and decay as well as smooth out any cracks or jagged breaks. Impressions are taken and used to make the inlay or onlay for you. You will then come in for a second visit to have the inlay or onlay placed. You can treat the new restoration as you would any other tooth in the mouth. You should brush the restoration and floss around it to keep your teeth healthy and clean.
If you would like to schedule an appointment to come into our office for inlays or onlays, call us today to speak with one of our trained professionals.