What are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays use a restorative material to treat a cavity or area of damage. The material fits into the center of the tooth between the cusps to restore structure and provide support. On onlay also uses restorative material, but covers a larger section of the tooth, usually one or more cusps. An onlay is used to treat larger cavities and areas of decay while preserving the remaining tooth.
When do I Need an Inlay or Onlay?
An inlay or onlay can be used to:
- Fill a cavity that is too large for a filling
- Avoid the need for a dental crown
- Add support to a damaged tooth
- Protect a weak tooth
Your dentist will examine your teeth and decide if an inlay or onlay is the best course of treatment for you, or if you might benefit more from a filling or a crown.
What to Expect During Treatment
Your procedure to receive an inlay or onlay takes two appointments. During your first appointment, Dr. Khan will prepare the tooth for treatment. Cavities, fillings, or areas of decay and damage will be removed. A mold of the tooth will be made using dental putty to create an exact fit for your inlay or onlay. A temporary restoration will be placed to protect your tooth while the inlay or onlay is made. During your first appointment, Dr. Khan might also go over which material will be best for your restoration.
During your second appointment, Dr. Khan will remove the temporary restoration and place your inlay or onlay. Once a good fit has been established, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth and polished for a smooth finish. Each appointment will take about an hour.
After your inlay or onlay treatment, you might experience some mild discomfort, soreness, and sensitivity that should subside after a couple of days. The look and feel of the new surface of your tooth may also need some getting used to. Over time, your inlay or onlay will blend in with the rest of your teeth for a natural look and feel.
Inlays and onlays provide long-lasting strength and structure. Maintaining good oral hygiene by regularly brushing and flossing can keep your restored tooth and natural teeth healthy. It is also important to attend regular visits to your dentist to check the condition of your inlay or onlay.