What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

When more than half of a tooth’s biting surface is damaged or there is extensive decay or fracture within the tooth, we often use an inlay or onlay to restore the tooth’s anatomy. We recommended this treatment when a composite filling will not provide enough support to properly restore a tooth, but the damage is not so extensive as to need a dental crown. In the past, the most popular materials used for Inlays and onlays were made of gold. However, in recent years, porcelain has become increasingly popular because of its strength and the fact that it can be fabricated to match the color of your teeth.

An inlay, is similar to a dental filling, and is placed inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is similar to an inlay, except it is used to fill a larger cavity and completely eliminates the cusps and walls of the tooth. Basically, the only difference between them is the part and amount of tooth they cover.

How are Inlays and Onlays Applied?

  1. After an initial consultation with Rochester, NY, dentist Aaron Park, you will be scheduled for the first of two procedures. When necessary, a local anesthetic is used to make you more comfortable while the areas of decay are removed.
  2. Your decayed or damaged tooth is reshaped to support the inlay or onlay. Then we will take an impression of your mouth, to get the exact measurements necessary for the dental lab to fabricate your inlay or onlay.
  3. A temporary sealant is placed on your tooth to protect it while the dental lab completes your inlay or onlay, which should take a few weeks.
  4. After your inlay or onlay is sent back to our office, you will return for your second appointment. At this time the temporary sealant is removed. Next, Dr. Park makes sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay is bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.

More About Inlays and Onlays 

Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50 percent. Applying an inlay or onlay can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent because they are bonded directly onto the tooth, using special high-strength resins. Therefore, inlays and onlays typically last from 10 to 30 years. They also provide a good alternative to dental crowns when the damage of the tooth is not extensive. 

For more information regarding our inlays and onlays, call our office today! Irondequoit Family Dentistry Phone Number (585) 266-4860 or click on the link below to use our contact form.