Inlays & Onlays
At Reich Dental Center, we can restore the shape of your tooth, strengthen it, and prevent more damage. Inlays and onlays offer a more conventional way to restore teeth than complete crowns. They’re used to repair back teeth with slight to reasonable tooth decay, or fractured teeth that don’t require a dental crown. Composite resin, porcelain, and in some cases, gold can be used to make inlays and onlays. So what are inlays and onlays? Inlays are procedures in which the bonded material is confined to the middle of the tooth. Onlays are procedures in which the bonded material may stretch further to at least one cusp of a tooth.
Inlays and onlays are an amazing treatment for a cavity that’s too large to be fixed by a filling but doesn’t require the buffer of a crown. They’re also great for cracked teeth. At your exam, our dentist may review your x-rays to choose the best option for your specific needs. If they chose an inlay or onlay, they will discuss the materials available that’ll best suit your needs. You might even discuss whether you’d fancy a direct restoration (inlay/onlay made in our office with CEREC technology) or an indirect restoration made in our dental lab.
How Inlays and Onlays Work
Getting an onlay or inlay is pretty much like what you’d feel getting a crown fitted, with one key difference: less of the original tooth structure will be removed through drilling when you get an onlay or inlay.
When you receive a crown, your tooth must go through considerable reshaping to enable it to fit within its new covering. As the aim of dentistry is to preserve your original tooth structure as much as possible, inlays and onlays can be suggested in place of crowns when this more conservative procedure can restore a tooth.
Before you receive an inlay/onlay, our dentist will numb your tooth and the area around it with some local anesthetic and remove the decay. This will help prevent the decay from getting worse in the tooth. Once your tooth has been readied, our dentist will take its impression and send it to the dental lab. There, the impression will be used to create a copy of your tooth so that your inlay or outlay can be created. The final restoration may be created out of a tooth-colored resin or ceramic or gold.
Before you walk away, our dentist will attach a temporary filling to your tooth. This will protect the tooth as your permanent restoration is created. At your follow-up appointment, the permanent inlay/onlay will be fixed to your tooth using either some permanent cement or a resin that toughens when exposed to some special light.
Inlays and onlays offer a strong, long-lasting solution, and require less maintenance compared to other options. To ensure your tooth restoration lasts for many years to come, regular cleanings at our office, as well as everyday brushing and flossing is all you need.
To learn more about inlays and onlays, please get in contact with Reich Dental Center at (770) 742-8454 any time to arrange a consultation.