Inlays & Onlays
In the past, dentists were only able to provide two options to repair damaged teeth: fillings and crowns. However, there are some situations where fillings are too small and crowns are too large. In these cases, an inlay or onlay may be just right. Inlays are used when decay or damage between the cusps (raised portions on the biting surfaces of teeth) is too deep to be effectively treated with a filling alone but is not severe enough to require a dental crown. Onlays restore the shape and structure of damage that affects one or more cusps of a tooth. Some instances when an inlay or onlay may be the right option include:
- Decay or damage that is deep enough to reach the softer inner layers of teeth, potentially compromising internal structures.
- Decay or damage to the biting surfaces of teeth that a composite resin filling may be able to treat effectively.
- A large filling, especially an amalgam filling, that needs to be replaced due to damage or loss.
Inlays and onlays are not the right solution for every patient. Dr. Grant will carefully examine your damage and discuss potential options. Depending on patients’ goals and needs and our recommendations, we’ll determine whether an inlay or onlay may be the right restorative solution.
If we determine an inlay or onlay is the right solution, the patient should plan on two visits to our office. During an initial appointment, a small amount of structure is removed in order to prepare the tooth. Then, we collect impressions that are sent to a ceramics lab where a custom inlay or onlay is crafted. While the final restoration is being created, patients are fitted with a temporary restoration. During the second appointment, the temporary is removed and replaced with the custom inlay or onlay. If you’re interested in finding out more about inlays or onlays or you’re ready to schedule an appointment, contact our knowledgeable team today.