Classified as restorations that fall between a tooth-colored filling and a full crown, dental inlays and onlays can repair moderately damaged or decayed back teeth to restore normal oral function. A dental inlay covers the indented center of a molar tooth, and an onlay covers the center along with at least the tooth's upper, rounded edges (cusps). Like dental crowns, onlays (partial crowns) and inlays can be created with high-quality porcelain or ceramic material. However, inlays and onlays allow for a more conservative restorative approach to treating damaged teeth in many cases. Accomplished dentists Dr. Richard Caron and Dr. John Kenney are pleased to assist Tupelo, MS patients in understanding the difference between fillings, crowns, onlays, and inlays so they can make an informed decision about treating their oral health. Get in touch with Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today to learn more about the benefits of dental inlays and onlays.
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An inlay or onlay may be a great option when a broken, cracked, or decayed tooth is too damaged for a filling (over one-half of the chewing surfaces) but does not need the full protection of a crown. At your exam, doctors Caron or Kenney may use your x-rays to evaluate your treatment needs and determine the best procedure for your oral health. If an inlay or onlay is chosen, our team can also help you determine whether a single-visit ceramic restoration created by our in-house milling machine or a dental lab-made porcelain restoration is the best option for your dental needs. A custom inlay or onlay can bring strength, health, and a natural appearance back to your damaged tooth.
What To Expect
On the day of your inlay or onlay visit, doctors Caron or Kenney will gently numb the tooth with our Single Tooth Anesthesia approach, which often provides greater comfort for our patients. Sedation dentistry solutions may also be offered if dental anxiety or fear is a concern of yours. When the damaged tooth structure has been removed, an iTero digital impression of your tooth will be taken, which our in-house CAD/CAM milling machine or partner dental lab will use to craft your custom restoration. A temporary filling will be placed to maintain the treated tooth while your inlay or onlay is prepared if you are receiving a dental lab-made restoration. As soon as your restoration is ready, doctors Caron or Kenney will carefully place and bond it onto your tooth. We may polish the margins or adjust the fit for a comfortable bite and seamless finish.
If just local anesthesia is used, you will be able to leave after the procedure and get back to your regular activities. You may feel some discomfort, inflammation, or sensitivity for a couple of days after your onlay or inlay is placed. Please contact Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry should you have any concerns following your procedure. Your dental inlay or onlay can be taken care of just like your natural teeth with daily flossing and brushing. You should also schedule yearly dental examinations and twice-yearly cleanings at Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry so that our team can continue to assess the health and wear of your inlay or onlay. With good maintenance, your new restoration should last for many years before needing to be repaired or replaced.
Inlays and Onlays
When damage or decay affects your oral health, it is important to receive the proper care before it becomes a more uncomfortable and costly issue. Custom inlays and onlays are often a great choice when back teeth are moderately damaged. At Tupelo Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Tupelo, MS, Doctors Caron and Kenney always place your comfort first and use the most conservative approach when it comes to restoring your teeth. Find out whether inlays or onlays from our Tupelo, MS team are the right type of treatment to bring function and health back to your smile.