Inlays & Onlays Improving Smiles
Fillings are a conservative dental restoration option for patients who have minor dental irregularities, and dental crowns repair extensive tooth decay or trauma. What about dental damage that falls somewhere between the two ends of this spectrum? Inlays and onlays allow our team to offer the most conservative treatment and preserve the greatest amount of natural tooth enamel. Not every patient should consider an inlay or onlay, but Dr. Michael L. Howard and our team will carefully examine patients’ smiles, answer questions, and recommend the treatment option that’s right for each patient’s unique smile. Inlays and onlays are often recommended to replace damaged fillings or as a conservative replacement for amalgam fillings.
Inlays and onlays both offer moderate restoration for damaged smiles, but they are used for unique dental repair purposes. Inlays are used to restore teeth with decay or damage between the cusps (raised portions on the biting surfaces) of teeth. Onlays are restorations that repair one or more cusps. Like dental crowns, inlays and onlays are precisely designed and crafted in our dental lab, so patients should plan for at least two visits. During the initial appointment, we prepare the tooth, gather dental impressions, and place a temporary restoration. Once the custom inlay or onlay is returned to our team, patients exchange the temporary for the higher quality custom restoration.