What are Inlays and Onlays?

Teeth will rarely crack or break perfectly every time. In some cases, a crack can run across the top of a tooth, requiring a smaller restoration, when compared to a full dental crown. This type of restoration is known as either an inlay or an onlay. The inlay sits in the grooves of a damaged tooth, while the onlay sits over the top of the tooth’s crown.

Why would Inlays and Onlays be needed?

There are a few reasons for why you might require either an inlay or an onlay. The most common is because a tooth has cracked or broken only on the very top surface. Rather than compromise the entire tooth for a full crown, an inlay or onlay can be placed. You might require this restoration if you have a large area of decay or an older filling that needs to be replaced.

Who is a candidate for Inlays and Onlays?

You can think of an inlay or onlay as a smaller dental crown. Because of this, most patients who need one are good candidates to sit for the procedure. We will examine your teeth to determine if an inlay or onlay is necessary. It is recommended that if you need either of these restorations that you come in to have it placed to prevent further damage to the tooth.

What happens during the procedure for Inlays and Onlays?

The procedure begins by smoothing out any rough edges or cracked surfaces. If there is decay or old filling material that needs to be removed, this is done prior to taking impressions. We then take professional impressions of your teeth and use these to make the new restoration for you. You will then come in for a second appointment to have the inlay or onlay placed. You can floss around and brush the restoration as you would your natural teeth. The beauty of inlays and onlays is they can last for decades without needing to be replaced.

If you think you might benefit from either an inlay or onlay, contact us today so we can schedule you for a consultation appointment.

Have any questions?