Porcelain Inlays & Onlays

Porcelain inlays & onlays are an excellent & conservative solution to cavity pain, reduced chewing strength & general degeneration of the back teeth.

Inlays & onlays are similar to fillings in that they replace damaged & decayed parts of a tooth. However, they are used for different situations & the process for applying them is also different. They are valuable tools in a dentist’s restorative repertoire because they occupy the space between standard fillings & more extensive crowns. Once fully attached to a tooth, inlays & onlays replace the damaged & lost parts of the tooth & allow normal use with no change to standard at-home dental care.

What Are Inlays & Onlays?

Inlays & onlays fill in parts of a tooth’s surface damaged by decay. They are used on the molars & premolars—specifically, teeth that have multiple “cusps,” which are raised points on their outer edge. Inlays fill in & repair the parts of the tooth between the cusps while onlays do the same & also cover one or more cusps. Otherwise the two treatments are the same in function & purpose. Once placed, inlays & onlays may actually be stronger than the original, pre-decay tooth.

Virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, inlays & onlays discreetly restore teeth to an optimal state of health. They resemble natural teeth so closely that only you will know the truth. And now with the CEREC® system, we can complete same-day inlays & onlays, avoiding the need to use temporaries, which usually require multiple visits, making it even easier on your schedule.

An inlay restoration is a custom made filling utilized to repair damage to the tooth’s biting surface. Onlays are very similar to inlays with the exception that onlays are used when both the tooth’s biting surface & one or more of the chewing cusps requires repair.

Inlays & onlays are used in teeth that have been damaged by decay or trauma. They make suitable replacements for fractured older fillings, & have the added benefit of being a more conservative treatment approach than crowns because they don’t require much of the tooth structure to be removed.

Inlays can be made of composite material, gold or porcelain. Porcelain is a popular choice because it can be closely matched to the shade of the tooth & is naturally translucent. Porcelain is also the preferred material when the broken or decayed part of the tooth is too large for a composite (white) filling. Bonded onto the remaining tooth structure, porcelain is stronger than composite material but still provides excellent aesthetics that are preferable to conventional silver fillings.

Porcelain inlays & onlays are highly durable & last much longer than conventional fillings. With proper care, porcelain inlays & onlays will last a long time, but as with most dental restorations they may someday require replacement.

Reasons for getting porcelain inlays or onlays:

• To repair broken, fractured or decayed teeth.
• To repair fractured fillings.
• For larger fillings.
• For cosmetic enhancement.

Two appointments are required for an inlay or onlay procedure. During your first visit, several impressions (molds) will be taken that will be used to create your custom inlay or onlay. A temporary restoration is placed for added protection until your next appointment.

During your second appointment, your new custom inlay or onlay will be carefully fitted & cemented into place. We will make any necessary adjustments to ensure the perfect fit.

At the office of Dr. Nicholas Sowles we use the latest technology & finest materials to produce inlays & onlays that offer superior fit, function & aesthetics. We will provide instructions for the care of your new dental restoration. As with natural teeth, proper oral hygiene, good eating habits & regular dental visits will help maintain the life of your new restoration.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about inlays & onlays or to schedule a smile consultation with Dr. Sowles.

Appointments 7am–8pm & on Saturdays!

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