Dental inlays and onlays are used to protect a tooth impacted by decay or as an alternative to dental crowns for a more conservative approach to restoring teeth that are chipped or cracked. For the treatment of decay, inlays and onlays are best when options such as white fillings would be inadequate to fully restore function and protect a tooth from significant future damage.
Dental inlays are placed on top of a tooth in between the cusps. Onlays extend to one or more of the cusps. At our metal-free practice, both are made of high-quality porcelain and customized to match your teeth in color for a seamless result.
Placing Inlays and Onlays
Traditionally, inlays and onlays have been made of either porcelain or metal and crafted by a dental lab. This process could take weeks and require multiple visits to complete. At the Woburn office of Cosmetic & Esthetic Dentistry, we create porcelain inlays and onlays in-house with a CEREC machine. This enables our dentists to provide you with strong and aesthetically flawless restorations in just one office visit.
CEREC technology uses a camera to measure the exact dimensions of a cavity. This information is then sent to a milling unit inside the CEREC machine that uses a block of porcelain to custom-create your inlay or onlay. Once your restoration has been created, one of our dentists will carefully place it to ensure an ideal fit.
Inlays and onlays offer a number of benefits, including preventing future damage to a tooth. When you opt for an inlay or onlay, your tooth is basically wearing a helmet. When it wears a helmet, it’s protecting the inside so there is no more damage done to your tooth. This prevents you from needing more extensive treatments down the line like a root canal or a dental crown.
Inlays and onlays also help you restore the function of your tooth. If your tooth was worn down or threw off your bite, the inlay or onlay can help restore your tooth back to health and it’s full shape. With its full shape, your bite is more functional – giving you back the function you once had.
When your tooth becomes damaged it also becomes weaker. When you restore the damaged areas with an inlay or onlay, this also restores the strength back to your tooth. This means your tooth is less fragile. Inlays and onlays can replace large dental fillings to restore strength to your tooth.
Inlays and onlays also require little to no tooth prep which allows you to keep as much natural tooth as possible. In addition, your results look completely natural! We craft each inlay and onlay to match your existing tooth so everything blends seamlessly.
Inlays and onlays can be used as an initial treatment or to replace large metal fillings. How these restorations can benefit your smile is best determined by Dr. Clancy during your appointment.
If you live in or around Woburn, Winchester, and the Greater Boston Area, Massachusetts, and would like to learn more about porcelain inlays and onlays, please call Cosmetic & Esthetic Dentistry today at (781) 396-8558 to schedule an initial consultation.