Inlays and Onlays

Dental Inlays and Onlays

When fillings aren’t enough to save your damaged tooth, and crowns are too much, your dentist may suggest inlays or onlays! Also called indirect fillings or partial crowns, this procedure aims to save the healthy part of the tooth which is still intact while constructing the removed part with composites, metal, or porcelain.
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What’s the Difference Between an Inlay and an Onlay?

An inlay is placed on the center of the tooth, within the cratered structures on the surface where you bite. These can also replace old, unattractive metal fillings to give your mouth a more aesthetic appearance.

An onlay is often used for more extensive damage, when the decay or trauma is also located on the sides, or outside areas of the teeth.

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How Does the Procedure Work?

An inlay or an onlay follows these steps:

  1. Local anesthesia is applied into the gums near your tooth
  2. The dentist will use a drill to remove the damaged areas of your tooth
  3. He or she will then make an impression (mold) of the tooth in order to create the custom inlay or onlay
  4. Once the inlay or onlay is created in a lab, the dentist will bond the piece to your teeth with special dental cement.
  5. The dentist then polishes up your tooth to make sure your bite is comfortable, and not interfering with your mouth.

If you think you need a filling, inlay, onlay, or crown, schedule a consultation at our convenient South Tempe location!

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