Tooth Inlays and Onlays Procedure
Dr. David Rever, a skilled cosmetic dentist in Montgomery County MD, offers a wide variety of treatments for those suffering from advanced tooth decay. Dental inlays and onlays are an option for patients with advanced tooth decay, but not enough to warrant a dental crown procedure. If the decay has progressed to the point that a tooth filling will not cover it, but a dental crown procedure is too extensive, Dr. Rever may recommend an inlay or onlay. This minimally-invasive dental restoration is custom made to fit directly where the tooth is decayed, providing a strong foundation capable of supporting extensive chewing.
Dr. Rever will carefully examine the decayed area of your tooth to decide the best option for your oral health needs. Some may consider the application of inlays and onlays like the application of direct fillings. However, inlays and onlays are considered indirect fillings because they are specially crafted outside of the mouth. A dental filling is a process of curing resin material directly on the tooth.
- Inlay- An inlay fits into the top cusps of the infected tooth. This is used to repair the deep grooves of your tooth.
- Onlay- An onlay extends over the cusps of the infected tooth. Often used to repair one or more of your tooth cusps, as well as the grooves.
- Overlay- An overlay can be considered a partial crown, and will cover the entire top of the tooth. It is a step above an onlay, but not quite a crown.
Dr. Rever will choose from a variety of high-quality materials like porcelain, composite resin, or cast gold alloy. Each material is durable and capable of long wear with proper maintenance. In recent years, porcelain has become the top choice for patients due to its ability to match your existing teeth, durability, and strength. Dr. Rever will advise you of what material will work best to suit your lifestyle and oral health needs and budget. Inlays and onlays are a durable solution from those who have tooth decay. Dr. Rever works with patients to conserve their tooth structure.
How are Inlays and Onlays Applied?
For patients who have had a crown placed, applying an inlay or onlay is very similar. The goal of the procedure is to remove decay and preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible. The inlay or onlay will help stabilize your natural tooth and prevent further decay.
During the application process, Dr. Rever will numb the tooth and the surrounding area with a local anesthetic and then remove the existing tooth decay. After the decay has been removed, he will then make a customized impression using digital dental impression technology. The digital software carefully scans the mouth and creates an accurate dental impression. Once completed, the impression is sent to a dental lab for fabrication. This advanced technology makes it possible for patients to receive an inlay or onlay in one visit. We want you to get back to using your teeth with the least amount of interruption. Once the impression is made, the chosen material will be carefully molded and sealed onto the tooth using a special light or dental cement.
After receiving your new inlay or onlay, it is important to maintain good oral health habits. Dr. Rever will inform you of the proper care for your new inlays or onlays, so you may enjoy your new restoration for years to come. With proper dental health, they can last up to 30 years without needing to be replaced.
Dental Inlays and Onlays FAQs
Can inlays and onlays take the place of fillings?
Yes. In most cases, tooth decay is addressed with a dental filling. However, since the molars in the rear of the mouth must undergo greater stresses and bite forces, we may suggest a more substantial option. An inlay is placed between the cusps of the top of the teeth and an onlay is placed over the cusps.
Can inlays and onlays be used as partial crowns?
Yes. If the damage to your teeth, or the cavity, is great enough that a filling isn’t enough but a crown isn’t necessary yet, we can suggest inlays and onlays. We can then target a more specific area of the tooth that requires treatment.
Do inlays and onlays look natural and lifelike?
Yes. Both are made from dental porcelain. A strong material, porcelain is actually stain-resistant and can mimic the appearance of natural tooth enamel, blending with your smile.
How long does it take to get inlays and onlays?
Placement typically takes two visits. During the first visit, we prepare the tooth and then take detailed impressions. We may fit you with a temporary while a dental lab fabricates the restoration. When you return to the office, the doctor will check the fit and place the new restoration.
Schedule a Restorative Dental Visit
Advanced Total Dental Care is your Silver Spring dental home for all of your dental needs. If you would like to learn more about tooth inlays or onlays, give us a call at (301) 637-0960 or request an appointment online today.