Dental Inlays and Onlays: Placement & Aftercare
Cavities cause pain and can make eating difficult. While traditional fillings can address mild to moderate decay, dental inlays and onlays repair damage that is too severe for a filling but not extensive enough for dental crowns. Inlays and onlays are a conservative middle road between fillings and crowns.
With over 20 years of experience, Dr. John Goodman of Kansas City, MO, can answer all of your questions regarding the placement of inlays and onlays. Dental inlays treat damage between the cusps, which are the bumps or ridges on a tooth’s biting surface. Inlays can also replace damaged or dark fillings. Like inlays, dental onlays treat cavities on biting surfaces, but they may also extend down a tooth’s side. Let’s take a closer look at the procedure.
You can generally expect two visits for the placement of an inlay or onlay.
During the first visit, a dentist will clean the affected tooth to remove excess damage and decay. The dentist will then take an impression of the tooth so that either the inlay or onlay can be custom designed. Most inlays are made of porcelain or gold. Porcelain is popular because it looks like natural tooth enamel.
The dentist will then place a temporary inlay or onlay on the affected tooth while the permanent restoration is created.
During the second visit, usually two weeks after the initial one, the dentist replaces the temporary inlay or onlay with the permanent restoration. Dr. Goodman will evaluate your bite, which means how upper and lower teeth fit together with the mouth closed.
Sometimes a third visit is required for adjustments.
Inlay & Onlay Care
Inlays and onlays do not require any special care beyond regular oral hygiene and visits to the dentist. Everyone should brush twice a day, floss once, and visit the dentist every six months for a checkup and cleaning. If you notice any abnormalities or pain in the treated tooth, schedule an exam with Dr. Goodman.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
- They are made from tooth-colored material, so they look natural.
- Inlays and onlays do not expand or contract in response to temperature changes or hot or cold foods. Metal fillings do. These expansions and contractions can cause teeth to weaken and break over time.
- Inlays and onlays require less tooth reduction (prep) than metal fillings. An optimal amount of natural tooth structure remains in place.
- Inlays and onlays are very durable. They can last up to 30 years–far longer than conventional fillings.
- Untreated decay will worsen and spread to adjacent teeth. By repairing decayed teeth, inlays and onlays prevent the need for more extensive treatment.
- They bond securely to a tooth’s surface, reinforcing structural integrity.
Highly Rated Dental Care in Kansas City, MO
Dr. Goodman and his team believe patients deserve the very best and have been delivering highly rated care for over two decades. Call (816) 842-8585 in Kansas City, MO, or schedule a free consultation online today to explore your treatment options.