If you have a tooth that has damage too extensive for a dental filling, you may be a candidate for an inlay or onlay. Both inlays and onlays provide vital strength and protection to a damaged tooth. Dr. Craig Miller and his team will ensure you receive quality inlays and onlays to maintain your bite and your smile when you visit his Livingston, NJ, practice. At The Miller Center, we partner with an outstanding dental lab that uses realistic-looking, state-of-the-art materials.
Inlays and onlays can restore your ability to bite and chew, even if you have a large cavity or cracked tooth.
Is an Inlay or Onlay Right for You?
Inlays and onlays are a conservative restorative option that cover the chewing surfaces of a damaged tooth. These restorations are sometimes called partial crowns, but are more conservative than traditional crowns.
An inlay is smaller than an onlay. This restoration will typically rest between the cusps of molars. An onlay can rest between the cusps, but may also replace one or more cusps and extend down the side of a tooth. Both restorations provide significant strength to a tooth that requires repair beyond the capabilities of a filling.
Inlays and onlays can be made from a variety of materials including gold, porcelain, and composite resin. Our office typically uses porcelain restorations for results that are both strong and blend-in beautifully with your smile.
Placing Your Inlay or Onlay
Before placing your restoration, our team will first remove all decay and damaged tissue. We will then prepare your tooth to ensure that it can provide a stable base and foundation for your inlay or onlay. We will take highly detailed impressions so that our lab can create your customized restorations, a process which usually takes about two weeks. While your permanent restoration is being fabricated, we will provide temporary coverage so that you can resume your routine without any interruption to your routine or the esthetics of your smile.
We work with an outstanding lab facility and skilled ceramists. The technicians will typically craft your restoration from ceramic, a tooth-colored material that is highly durable and can be matched to your smile. Once the finished restoration is back in our office, you will come in for your second appointment. First, we ensure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly and does not upset the force of your bite or put undue pressure on your adjacent teeth. Then, we make the necessary adjustments before securely attaching your restoration.
The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Though less well-known than other types of dental restorations, inlays and onlays offer a number of important benefits:
- Inlays and onlays can restore your ability to bite and chew, even if you have a large cavity or cracked tooth
- An inlay or onlay can also strengthen your weakened tooth, often more effectively than a traditional filling
- This conservative treatment can prevent further damage and eliminate your need for extensive restorative work in the future
- Thanks to their smaller size, inlays and onlays require less preparation, preserving more of your natural tooth structure
- Inlays and onlays are durable, typically lasting twenty years or more
Find the Right Restorative Treatment for You
We invite you to learn more about inlays, onlays, and your other restorative options. Contact the Miller Center for more information about how we can repair your smile.