What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
At LANCO Dental Care, we are proud to offer a range of services to enrich the lives and smiles of Lancaster, PA families, including custom dental inlays and onlays. Classified between a dental filling and a crown, inlays and onlays are restorations used to treat and restore a damaged or decayed molar or premolar tooth. Dental inlays cover the indented (center) portion on the chewing surface of a back tooth. Onlays, also known as "partial crowns," cover the center portion along with one or more of the tooth's upper, rounded edges (cusps). Like dental fillings and crowns, onlays and inlays can be created in a variety of materials — porcelain, composite resin, and noble metals, like gold. If you or a family member has restorative dental needs, schedule a visit with our caring team to discover if an inlay, onlay, or other treatment option is best for your oral health needs.
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Inlays vs. Onlays: Are there benefits to both?
Yes, there are oral health benefits to both inlays and onlays. The primary difference between inlays and onlays is onlays will cover the cusp of a tooth, while inlays are placed between the cusps. Though they may be placed differently, there are several benefits to dental inlays and onlays, including:
- Provide additional support and strength to the affected tooth
- Allows the affected tooth to withstand more chewing pressure
- If properly cared for, inlays and onlays can last longer than dental fillings
- Easily shaded to match the natural color of your teeth
- A quick and effective procedure that can be completed in one visit
- Can be used to restore a damaged dental filling
WHo Is An Ideal Candidate for Inlays and Onlays?
A dental inlay or onlay may be recommended if you have a cracked tooth, broken tooth, or cavity that is too large for a simple filling but does not need the full protection of a crown. These restorations may also be used when additional strength is needed to repair and restore a tooth. During your exam, we will evaluate your tooth and may take x-rays to determine the ideal treatment option for your oral health. If an inlay or onlay is chosen, our team will discuss the available materials that will best suit your needs.
What Is The Inlay and Onlay Application Process?
Inlays and onlays may be created in a direct method (inside of the mouth) or indirect method (outside of the mouth in a dental lab). After numbing your tooth for comfort, our skilled practitioners will start by cleaning out areas of decay or damaged tooth structure. Once the tooth is treated, an impression of the area will be taken. If you are receiving a lab-made restoration, a temporary filling may be placed until it is prepared. As soon as your inlay or onlay is ready, we will carefully position and bond the restoration securely to your tooth. The borders will then be polished and the fit adjusted to create an even interface between your new restoration and natural tooth structure.
What Happens After My Procedure?
Once your procedure is complete, you may notice minor sensitivity in the tooth for a few days; however, this should subside naturally. Please contact our team right away should you have any concerns following your treatment. Your inlay or onlay should be cared for just like your own natural teeth with daily brushing and flossing. When you visit our Lancaster, PA dental practice for routine cleanings and check-up visits, we will be sure to evaluate the health and wear of your inlay or onlay. With proper care, your new restoration should last for many years to come.
Inlays and Onlays FAQ
How long do inlays and onlays last?
On average, most inlays and onlays can last anywhere from 20 – 30 years. Our team will provide you with recommendations on how to care for your restoration so that it lasts as long as possible. If you think you may be a candidate for inlays and/or onlays, contact our Lancaster, PA office to speak with a member of our team.
What happens if my inlay or onlay breaks?
If your inlay or onlay happens to break, please get in touch with our office right away. Our team will need to assess the damage, but in most instances, the inlay or onlay can be restored to its original position.
Can an inlay or onlay be adjusted?
Our talented team will work to place your inlay or onlay precisely. However, if down the line the restoration needs to be adjusted, our team can make the necessary adjustments to help your inlay or only last as long as a crown.
Strengthen Your Oral Health
Treating damaged or decayed teeth as early as possible can help strengthen your tooth and prevent further damage. Inlays and onlays are custom restorations we use when a tooth needs more than what a filling can provide but not quite the full protection of a dental crown. To learn more about inlays and onlays, schedule a visit at LANCO Dental Care. Our team can help improve your smile and oral health with personalized, high-quality treatment solutions.