Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dentist in Vancouver WA

What are dental inlays and onlays?

Dental inlays and onlays are like puzzle pieces to a tooth. These would be used when there is a large amount of damage on a tooth that a tooth filling would no longer hold, but it’s not enough damage that a dental crown would be a solution. If a tooth filling was used, it can debilitate the remaining tooth structure, which could eventually cause the tooth to break, crack, or in the end, the patient would need a root canal. If a dental crown was used, too much of the structure of the tooth would be unnecessarily removed. The purpose of dental inlays and onlays is to be able to restore the large damage caused by cavities, without having to resort to the more invading dental crown.

Dental inlays and onlays are the same type of restoration. The difference between them is that they cover different areas of the tooth. The dental inlays fill in the space between the cusps or rounded edges, in the center of the tooth’s surface. The dental onlays covers one or more cusps or sometimes the whole biting surface of the tooth. Notice that dental onlays cover more areas of the tooth than the inlays do, this is why they are sometimes referred to as partial crowns.

Like any kind of restoration, dental inlays and onlays can weaken the structure of the tooth, but it’s more durable than dental fillings. A huge determining factor of the age of this treatment is the size and material of the filling. Furthermore, proper dental care will have an impact on the success of the procedure.

These restorations are fabricated in the lab. For the first appointment, after the damaged area of the tooth is removed, impressions are taken to send to the lab, then a temporary dental filling is placed. Once the lab technician has the restoration ready, the temporary filling is removed, and the dental inlay or onlay is cemented in place.

Dr. Jared Bowyer, dentist in Vancouver WA, offers dental inlays and onlays at his office. For more information, please visit our website or call us at (360) 253-2640 and we would be more than happy to answer any of your questions.