Inlays Onlays

Inlays & Onlays – Overview

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When teeth are damaged through decay or fractures, dental inlays or onlays may be used to repair the tooth structure. If you need a dental inlay or onlay procedure done in Vancouver, WA, Dr. Bowyer can help. Think of inlays and onlays like puzzle pieces for your teeth: the damaged portion of the tooth is removed, leaving only the healthy structure behind. Then, the tooth structure is restored with artificial material.

Dental inlays are used when the damage to the tooth is within a cavity. Dental onlays are similar, but are used in instances when one or more cusps of the tooth need to be replaced. Both procedures are similar to getting a tooth filling, but the process is more extensive.

How Can I Tell If I Need Inlays Or Onlays?

If you notice that one or more of your teeth is damaged, or you notice sensitivity to hot or cold in a tooth, a dental inlay or onlay may be the right treatment for you. Inlays and onlays occupy a very specific role in repairing teeth – they’re a great solution for when the damage is more severe than what a filling can handle, but is not so severe that it requires the replacement of a whole tooth. After a dental examination of your tooth damage, Dr. Bowyer can determine if a dental inlay or onlay is right for you.

What Should I Expect When Getting Inlays Or Onlays?

The first step is to get an initial examination to determine if an inlay or onlay is the right solution, and determine what areas of your tooth are damaged and which are healthy. The first part of the procedure involves removing the damaged or decayed part of the tooth. Then, a mold is created to get an impression of the remaining tooth structure. This mold will be used by a dental lab to fabricate a dental inlay or onlay that matches your tooth exactly.

While the inlay or onlay is being fabricated, your dentist will create a temporary restoration and affix it to your tooth. You will need to wear this temporary restoration for a few weeks while your permanent restoration is being made. When your permanent restoration is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary inlay or onlay and replace it with the permanent one.

Inlays and onlays are more sturdy than tooth fillings, and will last longer. They also protect better against recurrent decay and future tooth damage.

Ready To Take The Next Step?

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Bowyer to see if inlays or onlays are right for you. You can call us at (360) 253-2640, email us at, or use the form on this page to request a free consultation.

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