Inlays and Onlays

Each tooth biting surface take the brunt of the work every time that we eat. Sometimes those surfaces can become severely damaged overtime. Once more than half of the biting surface of a tooth is damaged, usually a dentist will advise that an inlay or onlay is applied to protect the longevity of the tooth. However, before recommending an inlay or overlay, Dr. Conrow considers the structural makeup of each tooth and considers the options available to the patient.

The Palm Desert office of Dr. Conrow endeavors to make sure that any procedure that is recommended is in your best interests.

What are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays refer to materials that are bonded to teeth to cover a damaged section of the biting surface. They are usually constructed out of composite resin, gold (or another precious metal), or porcelain. Inlays are designated as such because that are place within the cusp edges, while onlays rest over one or more of the cusps of a tooth.

Onlays are, in most instances, a more substantial fix than inlays.
If you opt for an inlay or onlay, Dr. Conrow will ask which type of material construction you prefer.

Recently, porcelain has become the trending favorite due to its color, which mimics shades of natural teeth. Porcelain is also revered for its strength and handles well in oral conditions. Whatever style of material that you choose, Dr. Conrow will inform you of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The Process

In order to get inlays and onlays applied correctly, two appointments are necessary. The initial visit will give attention to the preparation of the tooth.

First, the decaying or damaged area of the tooth is analyzed, cleaned, and prepped for the inlay or onlay. Measurements are taken by a tooth impression to get an exact fit, since a minor rise or depression on a tooth’s biting surface can affect your bite. This impression will enable us to make the inlay/onlay, so that it can be placed on your next visit.

During the second visit, we will verify that the inlay or onlay fits appropriately. Once the fit is confirmed, Dr. Conrow will bond it to the tooth and polish the area. Typical inlay/onlays can last up to 35 years.

For more information about inlays/onlays, give us a call.