Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays offer a conservative and effective treatment option for damaged and decayed teeth that require more than a filling but less than a dental crown. They are typically made from a tooth colored material such as porcelain, zirconia, lithium disilicate, or occasionally gold. Inlays and onlays are designed to fit precisely within or over the damaged portion of the tooth, restoring its strength, function and appearance.

  • Inlays: Inlays are used when the damage or decay is confined to the center of the tooth or within its cusps. They are bonded to the tooth surface to fill the space left after removal of the damaged portion.
  • Onlays: Onlays, also called as partial crowns, are used when the damage or decay extends beyond the cusps and covers a larger portion of the tooth. Onlays are custom-made to cover the damaged area while preserving as much healthy tooth structure as possible.

The benefits of inlays and onlays:

Choosing inlays and onlays for your dental restoration offers several significant advantages:

  1. Preservation of Healthy Tooth Structure: Inlays and onlays require the removal of only the decayed portion of the tooth, leaving the healthy tooth structure intact. This conservative approach preserves the strength and integrity of the tooth while minimizing the need for a more extensive preparation of the tooth are required for dental crowns.
  2. Customized fit and esthetics: Inlays and onlays are custom made to match the shape, size and color of natural teeth. They blend seamlessly with your existing dentition, providing a natural and aesthetic result.
  3. Durability and strength: Inlays and onlays are fabricated from durable material that withstands normal biting and chewing forces. They provide strong and long lasting restorations that can effectively restore the function of the decayed teeth. They also provide protection and stability reinforcing the tooth structure preventing further damage and decay.
  4. Minimal Sensitivity: Inlays and onlays made from tooth-colored materials are less likely to cause temperature sensitivity compared to traditional metal restorations. They provide a comfortable and natural-feeling restoration that allows you to enjoy your favorite foods and beverages without discomfort.

The Inlay and Onlay Placement Process:

The process of receiving inlays or onlays typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation and Examination: During your initial visit, the dentist will assess your oral health, evaluate the condition of the damaged tooth, and determine if inlays or onlays are the appropriate treatment option for you. X-rays may be taken to assess the extent of the damage.
  2. Tooth Preparation: The damaged or decayed portion of the tooth will be removed under local anesthesia. The tooth will be shaped to create space for the inlay or onlay.
  3. Impressions: Impressions of your prepared tooth will be taken, and sent to our inhouse dental laboratory, where our skilled technicians will fabricate your custom inlay or onlay. The restoration will be designed to fit precisely within or over the damaged area.
  4. Temporary Restoration: While your permanent restoration is being crafted, a temporary filling or crown will be placed to protect your tooth.
  5. Final Placement: Once your custom inlay or onlay is ready, you will return for the final placement. The temporary restoration will be removed, and the permanent restoration will be bonded or cemented into place. Our dentist will ensure proper fit, bite alignment, and esthetics.
  6. Finishing Touches: Any necessary adjustments will be made to ensure your bite feels comfortable and natural. The inlay or onlay will be polished to blend seamlessly with your surrounding teeth, providing a beautiful and functional restoration.

Caring for Inlays and Onlays:

To ensure the longevity and performance of your inlays and onlays, it is essential to maintain good oral hygiene and follow these care guidelines:

  1. Brushing and Flossing: Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from around your restorations.
  2. Regular Dental Check-ups: Visit our dental office for regular check-ups and professional cleanings. Our dental team will examine your restorations, monitor their condition, and address any concerns.
  3. Avoid Teeth-Grinding: If you have a habit of teeth grinding or clenching, known as bruxism, consider wearing a nightguard to protect your teeth and restorations from excessive forces.
  4. Healthy Lifestyle Choices: Maintain a balanced diet and limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks, as they can contribute to tooth decay.
  5. Avoid Using Teeth as Tools: Refrain from using your teeth to open packages or bite on hard objects, as this can damage your restorations.

Restore Your Smile with Inlays and Onlays:

If you have damaged or decayed teeth that require more than a filling but less than a dental crown, inlays and onlays may be the ideal solution for restoring your smile. Our experienced dental team is dedicated to providing personalized care and exceptional results. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation and learn how inlays and onlays can help you achieve a healthy, functional, and beautiful smile.

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dental inlay on lower first molar

Other Procedures we perform:

You can talk about your Inlays and Onlays with these specialists at Dentist4:

Dr. Rodolfo Acosta-Ortiz, DDS
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