Dental Inlays & Onlays: What Are They and Do I Need Them?

Dental Inlays & Onlays: What Are They and Do I Need Them?

Are you looking for a way to improve your smile and your oral hygiene at the same time? Dental inlays and onlays are an excellent way of achieving both, all while maintaining the structure of your remaining teeth.

What Are Composite Inlays and Onlays? 

Dental inlays and onlays are different in that inlays lie within the cusps of the tooth and onlays replace a cusp. An onlay is bigger that a inlay but smaller than a crown.

This restorative dentistry is an ideal solution for patients who are looking to repair their damaged teeth. They are used to help prevent future infections while strengthening the teeth. 

These treatments are similar to other indirect fillings, but using different materials to treat the damaged tooth or cavity. The inlay/onlay is made from a composite resin, porcelain, or gold made to match the rest of your teeth and to resist degradation. 

Since they are cemented to your teeth, both inlays and onlays are used to give a long-term solution to tooth decay. 

When Should You Get Composite Inlays or Onlays? 

Composite inlays/onlays are a ‘middle ground’ treatment for people with cavities too advanced for a standard filling, but not yet serious enough for a crown. 

There may be several other reasons to undergo a restorative dentistry treatment. Patients who are looking for a long term solution to their damaged teeth should discuss onlays and inlays with their dentist. 

What Is the Procedure for Getting Inlays or Onlays? 

Inlays and onlays are custom made for a perfect fit and mouth blend. The procedure for both of these is very similar and will both require two trips to your dentist. 

  • During your first trip, your dentist will remove any decayed or damaged tooth area. The hygenist will clean the rest of the tooth thoroughly. 
  • Your dentist will take impressions of the tooth and will match your tooth color.
  • The tooth impressions are sent to a lab where the inlay or onlay is crafted to fit your teeth exactly. 
  • Your dentist will use a temporary inlay or onlay on the tooth while your permanent fixture is made. 

You will then need to return to your dentist for a follow up appointment once your fixture has been made. The dentist will remove your temporary inlay or onlay, and then place the permanent fixture in place. 

You will now have a better idea about what composite inlays and onlays are and how they could potentially be used to help you to restore your smile. 

The team at Godley Station Dental is one of the experts in restorative dentistry in Pooler, GA. Request an appointment to discuss the best treatment for you.


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