We use inlays and onlays to restore teeth after removing cavities. Our dentists may recommend an inlay or onlay if you have a cavity that’s too big for a filling and too small for a crown. That way, we’re able to restore your tooth to its natural strength and appearance.
What are Inlays and Onlays?
A dental inlay or onlay is different from a filling because it’s one solid piece. Our dentists use an inlay when a cavity is too big for a simple filling. Yet, we may use an onlay if we also need to restore the cusp of a tooth. A dental onlay is not quite a crown but is still made as one solid restoration.
Unlike fillings, we don’t molddirectly on the surface of your teeth. Instead, we send your dental impressions to a lab that’ll make your inlay or onlay. This is why inlays and onlays are sometimes called “indirect” restorations. A dental crown would be another example of an indirect restoration.
What to Expect
First, we’ll need to remove the decayed tooth structure. We’ll then take impressions of your teeth to send to the lab that will make your inlay or onlay. Until your next appointment with us, we’ll place a temporary cover over your tooth. A member of our staff will call you when your inlay or onlay is ready.
When you return to our office, your dental inlay or onlay will be ready. One of our dentists will remove the temporary cover and replace it with your inlay or onlay. Before you leave, we’ll make sure your dental inlay or onlay is the perfect fit. That way, you won’t experience any pain or discomfort later when biting down.