In some cases, a typical dental filling is not adequate to treat a tooth with significant decay. In this case, Dr. Laventure or Dr. Lewis will often recommend that you get an inlay or onlay to increase the strength of your tooth and helps to preserve it by guarding against additional tooth decay. These restorations work best for our patients when at least some of the enamel of your tooth remains healthy. At Franklin County Family Dental, we can create inlays and onlays from composite metal, gold, or porcelain.
How Inlays and Onlays Differ
While an onlay covers all four cusps of a tooth with significant decay on the biting surface, an inlay may only cover one. Onlays are appropriate if you have more extensive damage to your tooth structure. Inlays and onlays are a more aggressive treatment than a typical filling, but your dentist will prepare your tooth to receive them in the same fashion.
What to Expect When Receiving Your Inlay or Onlay
Most patients require two visits to our office to complete this process. At your first appointment, your dentist will remove all decay from your tooth, then use a dental mold to get an impression of your teeth and send that to our laboratory. Our team can even fit you with a temporary restoration while you’re waiting for the lab to return your customized one.
During your second appointment, your dentist will place your new inlay or onlay, and adjust it so it fits just right. We always take the time to make sure that your new inlay or onlay matches the shade of your teeth as closely as possible. For the last step, Dr. Laventure or Dr. Lewis covers the decayed tooth with dental cement and then puts the restoration on top of it to harden. This process takes just a few minutes, and makes a striking difference in the improvement and restoration of your overall smile and dental health.