Sometimes, the damage to a tooth is too extensive to treat using a traditional dental filling, but it may not be serious enough to need the cover of a full dental crown. In these cases, an inlay or onlay is the best option for restoring the tooth.
Traditional dental fillings are applied directly to the tooth by a dentist. In contrast to this, inlays and onlays are "indirect" fillings, as they are made outside the mouth and then bonded to the affected tooth. Inlay restorations are used to fit between the cusps or pointed parts of the tooth (the back molars or premolars). An onlay covers one or more of the cusps.
The procedure of placing an inlay or onlay is similar to getting a dental crown, except that less of your natural tooth structure will have to be removed while placing inlays and onlays, making them a more conservative form of treatment.
When you visit our practice to get an inlay or onlay, we will first numb the area with a local anesthetic and then remove any decay. A mold of the tooth will be taken and sent to a dental lab to prepare the custom restoration. A temporary filling is placed on the tooth until then. During your next visit, the filling is removed, and the permanent onlay/inlay is attached to the tooth using a resin and a curing light. Inlays and onlays are long-lasting, strong restorations that do not require a great level of maintenance apart from following a regular oral hygiene regimen.
If you wish to restore your teeth and want to know if inlays or onlays are the right option for you, please feel free to contact the office of Dental Arts at (414) 462-3160. Our experts will evaluate your condition and suggest the best treatment method for your teeth.