Both an inlay and onlay are restorations that can help to improve the look and feel of an otherwise damaged or compromised tooth. The restoration can be used to cover a tooth that has cracked or broken or to replace old fillings. They are typically made of porcelain, which allows them to look both natural and realistic. The benefit of both onlays and inlays is that they can last for many years without needing to be replaced.
There are a couple of reasons for why you might need to have either an inlay or an onlay placed. Your tooth might have cracked or broken across the very top of it. Rather than place a full dental crown, a smaller restoration will be perfect for the area. Likewise, we might recommend an onlay or inlay if you have a larger, older filling that needs to be completely replaced.
With an examination, we can determine if either of these restorations is best for you. The restoration is made for each individual patient, so it fits and feels completely comfortable. You can think of these restorations as smaller crowns, since they look and last as long as larger options. Inlays sit inside the grooves of a tooth while the onlay sits over the very top.
The process begins by removing decay, old filling material and smoothing out areas that are broken or cracked. We then take impressions of your teeth so that we can make the new restoration. You will come back in for a second appointment. This second visit involves placing the actual inlay or onlay. The restoration is smoothed into place and polished before you leave the office. You can benefit from a gorgeous new tooth that will improve the overall look of your smile.