What are Inlays and Onlays?

Both inlays and onlays are designed to cover and enhance a damaged or compromised tooth. Inlays sit inside the cusps of a tooth while the onlay sits over the top of the tooth. You might want or need either of these restorations to replace older fillings or because a tooth has cracked or broken just on the very top. You can think of these restorations as smaller versions of a full dental crown, since they’re often made of the same material.

Why would Inlays and Onlays be needed?

You might need an onlay or inlay if a tooth has cracked across the very top or if it’s broken slightly. We often recommend these restorations to patients with old metal fillings that need to be replaced. The beauty about inlays and onlays is that they can last for decades with the proper care. They are made to mimic the look and feel of your natural teeth, so no one will even know they’re in place.

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Who is a candidate for Inlays and Onlays?

To determine if you might need or would benefit from an inlay or onlay, we will perform a full dental examination. Most of our patients can benefit from these restorations, since they help to enhance and protect damaged teeth. If you have an older inlay or onlay, we can easily replace it in our office. With the proper care, your restoration can last for decades before replacement is recommended.

What happens during the procedure for Inlays and Onlays?

The first step is to remove any old filling material or decay from the tooth. If there is a crack or break present, we’ll smooth the area out completely. Impressions are taken and used to make the new restoration. We then have you come back in for a second appointment once the permanent restoration is made and ready to be placed. The inlay or onlay is placed and smoothed to ensure a comfortable, uniform fit. You can brush the restoration as you would your natural teeth. The beauty about inlays and onlays is that they take very little time to make and place, and they last for a long time with the proper care.

If you’re interested in learning more about inlays and onlays, call our office today to speak with one of our professional team members.

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