Classified between a tooth-colored filling and a full crown, an inlay or onlay can restore a decayed or damaged premolar or molar tooth. An inlay covers the indented middle portion of a tooth and an onlay (also known as a partial crown) covers the tooth's rounded, upper edges. Like fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays can be created with different materials — composite resin, metal, and porcelain. At West Bridgewater Dental, our expert team of board-certified dentists can explain the differences between crowns, fillings, onlays, and inlays and help you make the best choice for treating damaged teeth and restoring a healthy smile.
An inlay or onlay may be an ideal option when you have a cracked tooth or a large cavity that's too big for a filling but doesn't require the complete protection of a crown. At your consultation, our dentists will examine your mouth and x-rays to choose the ideal method for your needs. If an inlay or onlay is chosen, we'll discuss the available materials that best fit your requirements. We'll also help you determine whether you'd like a direct restoration (an inlay or onlay created in our office using CEREC® technology while you wait) versus an indirect restoration created in a dental lab.
What To Expect
After gently numbing the tooth, our skilled dentists will begin by cleaning out areas of decay. Other techniques of sedation may be used in the event you experience stress or a strong gag reflex. When the tooth structure is cleaned, impressions will be taken from your tooth. If you're getting an inlay or onlay made in a dental lab, a temporary restoration will be placed until it's prepared. As soon as your inlay or onlay is ready, our team will carefully place and bond it to your tooth. We'll then polish the borders or adjust the fit so that your tooth is smooth and your bite is comfortable.
If just local anesthesia is used, you can leave following your appointment and get back to your regular activities. You might notice mild discomfort, swelling, or sensitivity for a couple of days once your inlay or onlay is placed. Please call our practice should you experience any issues following your treatment. Your inlay or onlay can be cared for, like your own teeth, using daily flossing and brushing techniques. It's important to schedule yearly dental examinations and twice-yearly cleanings in West Bridgewater Dental so that our dental team can evaluate the wear and health of your inlay or onlay. With appropriate maintenance, your restoration should last for several years before needing to be repaired or replaced.
Onlays and inlays are a common procedure for treating dental cavities and other issues so they're generally paid in part by insurance. A team member can talk to your insurer to review your particular policy prior to treatment and determine what your personal expenses might be. Our dentists can personalize your procedure with restoration materials that meet your budget and needs. At your consultative appointment, we'll discuss price quotes and the payment methods we take, such as low-cost medical financing.
Plan Your Procedure
Inlays and Onlays
Regardless of whether you require an onlay or inlay, metal or ceramic, indirect or direct, it's important to treat a damaged or decayed tooth before it turns into a debilitating and costly issue. Find out more about inlays and onlays to restore your oral health by making an appointment at our West Bridgewater, MA dental office. Our entire team is ready to help revive your smile with the options best suited for your needs.