Inlays and Onlays Are Conservative, Durable Restorations

If you have a tooth that has been damaged by cavities and decay that is too extensive for a filling, you may be able to receive an inlay or onlay. These restorations are more conservative alternatives to dental crowns, and are able to provide significant support and strength to teeth. Dr. Emma Wu offers high-quality inlays and onlays at her Danvers, MA, practice. She can provide these restorations in a variety of materials, and is even able to provide same-day restorations using advanced technology.

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays an onlays can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, porcelain, and composite resin. These restorations cover the chewing surface of your tooth to provide strength and restore structure after you have suffered decay and damage. An inlay is more similar to a large filling and is used inside the cusps of a tooth. An onlay is a more extensive restoration that is often called a 3/4 or partial crown. Onlays will replace one or more cusps of a tooth, and can extend down the side of a tooth as well. 

 Traditionally, gold was the most common choice for inlays and onlays. However, in recent years, many patients have begun to choose porcelain restorations. The advanced forms of porcelain used today are highly durable, and are more easily matched with natural tooth color, making them virtually undetectable against enamel.

Placing Inlays and Onlays

Dr. Wu uses innovative dental lasers to provide minimal discomfort treatment. Using lasers, she will prepare your tooth, remove all decay, and create a stable foundation for your inlay or onlay. If you are receiving a traditional lab-created restoration, she will provide a temporary inlay or unlay until your permanent restoration is complete.

If you receive a same-day restoration, Dr. Wu will take highly accurate digital impressions of your tooth. She will then use advanced CEREC® technology to design your inlay or onlay from a chair-side computer. The designs are then sent to an in-office milling unit, which will carve your restoration from a solid piece of porcelain. The fabrication process typically takes about an hour or less. With CEREC®, you can receive full restorative treatment in a single appointment.

Fillings decrease the strength of a tooth by up to 50 percent. A tooth restored with an inlay or onlay, however, can be strengthened by up to 75 percent because the materials used bond directly to your tooth structure.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are able to offer significant and unique benefits over other types of restorations. Because of their size, inlays and onlays are able to provide more significant repair than fillings can. Fillings also decrease the strength of a tooth by up to 50 percent. A tooth restored with an inlay or onlay, however, can be strengthened by up to 75 percent because the materials used bond directly to your tooth structure. These restorations are also more conservative, preserving more of the natural tooth structure than with a dental crown. In addition, inlays an onlays are a long-term solution. With proper care, your restoration can last for up to 30 years or more.

Receive Vital Treatment Today

Inlays and onlays are able to provide significant strength and protection to your teeth. If you would like to find out if these conservative restorations are right for you, contact our office today. Dr. Wu can recommend the best treatment and perform gentle, minimal discomfort procedures to restore your smile.