Inlays and onlays are custom-made restorations used to restore a molar that has endured moderate to severe damage. This type of restoration is a conservative alternative to dental crowns that preserves more natural tooth structure. Our dentists at Ridgewood Dental Associates in Ridgewood, NJ, have decades of experience restoring damaged teeth. We offer inlays and onlays made from the tooth-colored materials that are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored porcelain restorations that cover the top surface of a molar. These restorations differ from traditional fillings in that they treat a larger area of the tooth. Additionally, inlays and onlays are made from dental-grade porcelain instead of composite material, making them stronger and more durable than a filling. They also offer more comprehensive support than a dental filling. However, they require less alteration than a dental crown, which covers the entire tooth.
Your dentist will determine whether an inlays or onlay is the right treatment for your needs, depending on the extent of damage to your tooth. Inlays cover the area over the molar between the cusps, while an onlay is used to treat a larger area that includes one or more cusps.
What to Expect during Treatment
Your inlay or onlay treatment will begin with your dentist making you comfortable by numbing the area around the tooth. Next, structurally compromised portions of the tooth will be removed. Then, impressions will be taken of the prepped tooth.
This information is sent to a dental lab that will custom-make your inlay or onlay. While you wait for your permanent restoration, you may receive a temporary restoration to prevent tooth sensitivity.
Due to their size, inlays and onlays are usually more cost-effective than crowns.
It typically takes about two weeks to produce an inlay or onlay. When the restoration is ready, you will return to our office to have the restoration placed. Your dentist will lightly etch your tooth, which aids the bonding process and then place the restoration. He will ensure the restoration fits in aesthetically with your surrounding teeth and matches your bite pattern. Lastly, your inlay or onlay is cemented in place.
Advantages of Inlays and Onlays
In many cases, inlays and onlays are the preferred treatment for moderate damage to molars. When properly placed, this type of restoration can:
- Eliminate the discomfort of a toothache
- Improve oral function
- Strengthen a weakened tooth
- Salvage more healthy tooth structure than crowns
Due to their size, inlays and onlays are usually more cost-effective than crowns. In addition, they are tooth-colored to match your natural smile and blend in with your surrounding teeth.
Restore Your Smile Today
If you have a molar with decay or fracture that is causing discomfort or affecting your bite, send us a message online today to make an appointment for treatment. You can also call us and speak with a team member at (201) 652-2474.