If you have a big filling that needs replacement, you may have been told you will simply have to get a complete crown. Dr. Patel prefers to use the least invasive, most conservative route whenever possible, and offers inlays and onlays along with other cosmetic dentistry treatments in Orlando.
Candidates for inlays and onlays
Inlays and onlays provide a restored chewing surface for a damaged tooth, and are appropriate for use when:
- A cusp of the tooth is cracked or broken
- A large cavity that extends across the surface of the tooth needs filling
- Old fillings have cracked or fallen out, or there is decay under the filling
Benefits of inlays and onlays
Inlays and onlays fit into a tooth like a filling, yet they are customized restorations, much like a crown. The bumps on top of a tooth are called cusps. Inlays fit between cusps, while onlays fit over one or more cusps. Inlays and onlays allow:
- Patients to retain more natural tooth structure, which is always best
- A more customized option than a filling
- Reduced need for a crown
- A more affordable option than a crown
Not every situation is right for an inlay or onlay, but Dr. Patel will assess your problem and determine the best solution for you.
The inlay and onlay process
Because they are created in a lab like a crown, inlays and onlays require two appointments. At the first visit, we will prepare your tooth by removing your tooth decay or old filling and cleaning the area. We will take a dental impression and send it to our lab so that a technician can create a custom inlay or onlay for you.
Dr. Patel will determine the best material to use, but in most cases, teeth that show when you smile or speak can have a white restoration. Back teeth undergo extreme pressure, so a gold or porcelain inlay or onlay may be indicated. You’ll wear a temporary covering until the lab delivers your final restoration.
At the second appointment, Dr. Patel will remove the covering and permanently cement your final inlay or onlay into position. After polishing and modifying the restoration as necessary to ensure proper bite alignment, you’ll enjoy your stronger, healthier smile for years to come.
Think an inlay or onlay might be what you need? Call our office or use this form to request a consultation with Dr. Patel.