If you have a damaged or decayed tooth, you have options in dental treatment. Inlays and onlays are dental restorations typically reserved to treat large cavities or extensive damage that cannot be properly covered with traditional dental fillings. Often referred to as “partial crowns,” inlays and onlays are a conservative alternative to full-coverage dental crowns because they preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible. Dr. Mia Fitzgerald offers inlays and onlays, among other restorative dental options, at her Sudbury dental practice.
Understanding Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are considered to be a “middle ground” between dental fillings and crowns. They are larger than fillings but smaller than crowns, which cover the entire exterior portion of a tooth. Inlays are placed on the center or top surface of teeth, or the area between the “cusps” or peaks of a tooth. Onlays are placed on the center and cover one or more cusps; or in some cases, the entire top surface of a tooth. Inlays and onlays offer a number of benefits. Inlays in particular are good at sealing teeth to keep bacteria out in the future, while onlays are especially effective at protecting weak areas of the tooth that compromise not only your oral health, but also your ability to chew properly.
Inlays and onlays are made from porcelain or composite resin. Both materials closely resemble the look of natural tooth enamel, for a seamless and natural-looking result. They are custom-made to the unique specifications of your teeth. Once created, Dr. Fitzgerald bonds the restoration in place. With good oral hygiene, inlays and onlays can last for many years.
Are You a Candidate for Inlays and Onlays?
Dr. Fitzgerald recommends inlays and onlays in specific cases. These restorations may be right for you if you:
- Have a large filling or decay that cannot be treated with a filling
- Have extensive dental damage that puts a tooth at risk for fractures or more damage
- Want to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible
- Need to replace a large filling
The planning and placement of inlays and onlays is similar to that of dental crowns and typically requires one dental appointment , same as CEREC same-day dental crowns.
To learn more about inlays and onlays, please schedule an in-office appointment with Dr. Fitzgerald. Contact our Sudbury dental practice to speak to a member of our team today.