Inlays and Onlays Diamond BarAt Diamond Bar Dental Studio, inlays and onlays are a technique of indirect restoration. The main difference being that with direct restoration or a traditional filling, which is made out of amalgam or mercury. An inlay and onlay would be placed in molars or premolars only. Sometimes your tooth has too much decay or damage for a basic filling but does not yet require a crown. The difference is how much of your tooth the inlay and onlay will cover. If you think about your tooth structurally, an inlay fixes the area between the cusps or chewing surfaces. It an entire cusp is covered then it is known as a crown.
Quick facts about inlays and onlays.
- Both inlays and onlays are considered “indirect” fillings
- Different than a crown or cap Onlays fit inside your tooth but can extend to the surface
- Made outside the mouth in a lab
- A single solid piece that fits the specific size and shape of the cavity
- Inlays go in the pits and fissures of your tooth
- These are used when an old filling needs to be removed or replaced
What is an inlay?
In the past, dental inlays were used to instead of fillings to replace a tiny amount of your tooth structure caused by tooth decay. They fit inside your teeth and used to be made only of gold. Today, inlays are still used for similar reasons, but inlays can now match the color of your tooth as they are made from ceramic/porcelain or composite materials. Do you have old fillings that are unsightly and need to be replaced? If you do, a dental inlay might actually improve the overall strength of your tooth, too. This is because it is sealed into your tooth.
What is an onlay?
A dental onlay also fits inside your tooth. However, it extends onto the top portion or chewing surface of your tooth. Like inlays, onlays used to be made only of gold as well. But today, dental onlays also can match your natural tooth color while fulfilling their restorative function. Dr. Cho and Dr. Jeon specialize in this type of cosmetic dentistry. In particular, many dentists do not know when an inlay or onlay should be used in place of a dental crown or cap. At Diamond Bar Dental Studio, our team has the expertise and knowledge to lay out all of your cosmetic dentistry options.
Alternatives to fillings.
Because inlays and onlays are a cosmetic alternative to fillings, it allows you to keep the natural look of your teeth. If you have tooth decay or need to replace old fillings, you most likely are a candidate for an inlay or onlay. So, how does it work? After your tooth is cleaned, the inlay is placed inside your tooth. Like a traditional filling would have been placed in times past. The onlay is a sealant which matches the color of your natural tooth. Dr. Cho and Dr. Jeon apply the onlay on the surface of your tooth. In combination, an inlay and only correct the damage of tooth decay or cavities while maintaining a natural appearance for your teeth. All of this, while keeping your oral health at its best.
How long does this procedure take?
Dental inlays and onlays usually require two (2) appointments to complete. When you come in for your first appointment, you will get your teeth cleaned. Next, impressions of your teeth will be taken to create the inlay or onlay from porcelain or resin. These are created in a lab. When you come back in for your second appointment, the inlay and onlay are placed inside your tooth and cemented or sealed. Dr. Cho and Dr. Jeon ensure that the fit of these is comfortable and feels natural for you.
Why should I get inlays/onlays instead of a crown?
- Created from the highest quality materials
- Durable and last for many more years
- Address tooth decay and preserve the structure of your tooth
- Eliminates tooth loss and tooth sensitivity
Schedule Your Appointment
Dr. Jeon and Dr. Cho specialize in cosmetic dentistry in Diamond Bar as well as adult dental bonding treatment options. If you are ready to take the next step toward a beautiful, healthy smile, please call us today at (909) 455-9979.