Porcelain Inlay and Porcelain Onlay
Inlays and Onlays
Replacing large fillings in back teeth often requires stronger, more precisely contoured restorations. These are called inlays or onlays depending on whether they are being placed inside the tooth or on its outer surface. These restorations need to be custom-made at an off-site dental lab; therefore, two visits may be required. Once the dental office receives the custom porcelain inlay or porcelain onlay, the patient returns to the dentist’s office, where the restorations are bonded into place.
Onlays protect teeth similarly to crowns, but conserve more natural tooth structure. Onlays should provide decades of service. Our Doctor has restored beauty and function to the teeth of thousands of patients through the placement of custom-crafted inlays and onlays.
How are inlays and onlays done?
It takes two appointments for the inlays and onlays treatment to be completed and to be finally bonded to the damaged area of the tooth.
Inlays and Onlays Treatment Process
Inlays and onlays are performed using very similar procedures. At the first appointment, your dentist begins the procedure by numbing the area to be treated with local anesthetic. Any decay or damage is removed by drilling, which cleans and prepares the tooth for the dental inlay or onlay.
Using a small tray filled with dental putty that fits over the teeth, the dentist takes a mold (impression) of the damaged tooth. This impression is sent off to the dental laboratory, where a dental inlay or onlay is created that will fit your tooth exactly. Inlays and onlays are usually made from porcelain, which often most closely matches the normal color of the tooth, but they can also be made from composite resin or gold. While the inlay or onlay is being created at the lab, the dentist creates a temporary restoration (cover or filling) for your tooth to protect it until your next appointment.
Final Inlays and Onlays Treatment Process
At the second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary restoration and then take time to ensure the inlay or onlay fits correctly. Only when the inlay or onlay fits perfectly will the dentist bond the inlay or onlay to the tooth with a strong resin adhesive. The inlay and onlay treatment is completed with a polish to ensure a smooth and aesthetically pleasing finish.
Each visit to the dentist for inlay or onlay treatment takes about an hour, with the first appointment taking slightly longer due to the preparation process. There will probably be a little discomfort after the inlay or onlay procedure, and the new tooth surface may feel a little odd, but you soon get used to the new tooth surface and how it feels and looks in your mouth. The tissue around the treated tooth may feel sore or sensitive, but this should subside in a couple of days. If you do feel some discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medication to alleviate the symptoms.