Crowns and fillings commonly repair damaged or decaying teeth, but in some cases, inlays and onlays make more sense. At Rainier Dental in Bonney Lake, Puyallup, Sumner, and Tacoma, Washington, the team of skilled dentists provides inlays and onlays to teens and adults. Inlays and onlays restore your tooth enamel to its near-original condition, restoring your smile and oral health. Call Rainier Dental today to schedule an appointment or book your visit online.
Dental inlays and onlays are restorations that repair damaged or decaying permanent teeth. Though often mentioned together, inlays and onlays aren’t the same thing:
Dental inlays are porcelain or ceramic restorations bonded to the chewing surfaces of the teeth at the back of your mouth. Inlays are smaller than crowns and repair enamel damage occurring between the cusps (or ridges) of your teeth.
Like inlays, dental onlays are made of porcelain or ceramic. These restorations are larger than onlays and extend over the cusps (or ridges) on top of your teeth. A dental onlay strengthens your tooth enamel, preventing further damage or decay.
The Rainier Dental team uses inlays and onlays to repair minor cavities and damaged tooth enamel. Your provider might recommend an inlay or an only if you have a cracked or chipped tooth or a minor cavity that doesn’t need a crown to prevent further damage.
Once bonded in place, inlays and onlays restore your tooth to its original size. Since inlays and onlays are made of ceramic or porcelain, they blend in with your teeth and look natural.
At Rainier Dental, getting a dental inlay or onlay takes two visits several weeks apart.
Before recommending an inlay or an onlay, your dentist completes an oral exam and takes digital X-rays to assess the extent of the damage or decay. If you qualify for an inlay or an onlay, your dentist administers a local anesthetic and carefully removes the decaying or damaged portion of the enamel from the top of your tooth. Then, they take digital impressions and send them to a nearby dental lab.
The dental lab uses your digital impressions to design a custom inlay or onlay from ceramic or porcelain. When your inlay or onlay is finished, you return to Rainier Dental and have it placed.
Your Rainier Dental provider bonds the inlay or onlay on top of your tooth. Afterward, they assess your bite and provide care recommendations.
Inlays and onlays last 10-12 years on average. Keep yours in good shape by brushing twice daily and visiting Rainier Dental twice annually for professional teeth cleaning.
Call Rainier Dental today to schedule an inlay or onlay appointment, or book your visit online.