Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are perfect for teeth that only need partial restorations. Like crowns, they are made from durable, high-quality porcelain designed to match the color of your natural teeth. At Elite Smiles Dental, we can use inlays and onlays to beautifully restore cracked, chipped, or broken teeth.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are partial crowns. They are made from porcelain and are bonded into place using dental resin. Instead of replacing a tooth, inlays and onlays use your existing tooth structure as a base. They are stronger than traditional fillings, preserve more of your natural tooth structure, and generally cost less than crowns.
What is the Difference Between Inlays and Onlays?
Although they are often mentioned together, inlays and onlays have a few significant differences. Inlays help repair the top of the teeth. They are placed on the surface of the teeth between the bumps or “cusps.” Our doctors use inlays as fillings to repair decayed or damaged back teeth. The porcelain will provide extra strength and support to your molars as they are the teeth that withstand the most pressure.
Onlays cover more of a tooth than inlays do. They are used to replace the entire surface of a tooth. Onlays repair and support damaged or cracked teeth. Our doctors may recommend an onlay instead of a crown if the damage to a tooth is not too severe. Both treatment options strengthen and support damaged teeth. Compared to crowns, inlays and onlays allow our doctors to take a more conservative approach to restorations.
What is the Procedure?
To begin, our doctors will remove any decayed material and disinfect your tooth. After this, he will take an impression. Inlays and onlays are made off-site at a professional dental laboratory. Our team will send your information to a lab for your restoration to be made. Although resin fillings are available, our doctors may recommend a porcelain inlay or onlay for more serious cases.
It should take about 2-3 weeks for your inlay or onlay to be made. In the meantime, we will provide you with a temporary filling until your permanent one is ready. Once your restoration is complete, our doctors will remove your temporary filling and cement your permanent one into place. After your treatment, your tooth will look and feel just like new!
How Long Will My Inlay/Onlay Last?
With care, your inlay or onlay should last anywhere from twenty to thirty years. After you return home, continue brushing and flossing daily. To ensure your restoration lasts as long as possible, our doctors recommend avoiding hard or very sticky foods.
If you would like to learn more about inlays and onlays, or if you need a filling replaced or restored, call us at 812-232-6654. We would be happy to answer any of your questions and explain your financing options!