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Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays are used to treat teeth that have decay or damage lying within their indented top surfaces. They can also be used to replace old or damaged fillings. Inlay placement is usually carried out over two appointments. During your first visit, an impression of your tooth will be taken, and a temporary inlay will be placed over the tooth. The inlay will be created in our lab to match your tooth’s specifications. In your next visit, the temporary inlay will be removed and the permanent one will be placed over your tooth. Since dental inlays can be made from durable, tooth-colored porcelain, they offer much more enduring and natural-looking results than normal fillings. In addition, their customized nature provides a secure bond between them and the tooth surface, adding structural integrity and preventing bacteria from entering and forming cavities.

Onlays are used to treat decay that extends to one or more of the cusps. Onlays are placed in much the same way as inlays. First, an impression of the decayed tooth is taken, and a temporary onlay is placed over the tooth. The impression is then used to create the onlay according to the tooth’s dimension in our lab. Like dental inlays, onlays can be created from tooth-colored porcelain, which makes them virtually undetectable to the naked eye or from metals like gold. Onlays also help to conserve more tooth structure because their use requires minimal removal a tooth’s surface. Perhaps their most important benefit, however, is that, in saving damaged teeth, onlays help patients avoid the eventual need for more extensive treatment with dental crowns, dental bridges, or dental implants.