Inlays and Onlays
At Monte Vista Dental Group, we use inlays and onlays as a way of restoring your smile to the height of its glory. As opposed to a restoration or traditional filling, which is made out of amalgam or mercury, inlays and onlay are placed in molars or premolars only. In some cases, your tooth will have too much decay or damage for a basic filling but not enough to require a crown. The comes down to how much of your tooth will be covered. If you think about your tooth structurally, an inlay fixes the area between the cusps or chewing surface, whereas a crown covers the entire cusp.
What is an Inlay
It used to be that dental inlays were used to replace parts of your tooth structure lost due to tooth decay. They were even made of gold! Today, this process is handled by fillings made of more affordable materials, but inlays still play a large role in dental treatment. In many cases, they can improve the overall strength and color of your tooth.
What is an Onlay?
A dental onlay fits inside your tooth and extends onto the top portion of your tooth’s surface. Many dentists do not know when an inlay or onlay should be used in place of a dental crown or cap, but you can rest assured that the doctors at Monte Vista Dental Group are the experts when it comes to which procedures work best for your situation.
Some 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.
How does the process work?
As inlays and onlays are a cosmetic alternative to fillings, they allow you to keep your natural smile. If you have tooth decay or need to replace old fillings, you will likely be a candidate for an inlay or onlay.
Inlays and onlays are sealants that match the color of your natural tooth. After your tooth is cleaned, they are placed over the part of your tooth in need of restoration. Inside the tooth, in the case of an inlay, or on the surface in the case of an onlay. Working together, inlays and onlays correct the damage of tooth decay and cavities while helping maintain a natural appearance for your teeth.
How long does the procedure take?
Dental inlays and onlays usually require two appointments to complete. During your first appointment, we begin by cleaning your teeth. We will then take impressions of your teeth so the inlay or onlay can be created out of resin or porcelain in a lab. During your second appointment, the inlay or onlay is placed inside your tooth and cemented or sealed. Dr. Cho and Dr. Jeon make sure that the fit feels comfortable and natural for you.
Schedule your consultation today
Dr. Cho and Dr. Jeon are specialists in cosmetic dentistry and a variety of other dental procedures. If you are ready to reclaim that beautiful, confident smile, don’t hesitate. Call today for an appointment in Montclair, CA!