Dental inlays and onlays restore teeth following trauma or decay. These porcelain restorations are often recommended when a filling cannot sufficiently restore a tooth, but a crown would be excessive. Dr. John P. Goodman provides custom inlays and onlays designed to achieve a precise fit with your tooth, providing restored support and natural-looking aesthetics. Dr. Goodman strives to provide each patient with the most conservative solutions for their dental health needs, and this intermediate option allows patients to retain maximum tooth structure following treatment. To learn more about dental inlays and onlays, contact our Kansas City, MO, office today.
The Difference between Inlays and Onlays
A dental inlay fits the bite surface of your tooth within the outer edges, which are also called cusps. Dental onlays are also designed for placement upon a tooth's bite surface; however, they replace one or more cusps of the tooth. Dental onlays are slightly larger than inlays. Dr. Goodman will determine whether an inlay or onlay is the best solution for your needs.
Candidates for Inlays and Onlays
Candidates for this treatment have a tooth with structural damage caused by decay or trauma. You may be a candidate for this type of treatment if your tooth:
- Has a moderately sized chip or crack
- Has developed a large cavity as a result of decay
- Has an old filling in place that has begun to develop decay
Whenever possible, Dr. Goodman will restore your tooth with a tooth-colored composite filling. This type of filling is molded directly within your tooth following treatment. Dr. Goodman will recommend a dental inlay or onlay if a moderate amount of tooth structure is damaged. In some cases, your tooth may not have enough natural structure remaining to support an inlay or onlay. In these cases, Dr. Goodman will reduce your tooth and cover it entirely with a custom porcelain dental crown. Because a dental crown requires the removal of more dental tissue, it is only used when a dental inlay or onlay cannot provide an adequate level of support.
Creating Inlays and Onlays
In the first stage of your treatment, Dr. Goodman will carefully clean your damaged tooth to remove any decay or bacteria. To design your dental inlay or onlay, he will next take impressions of the treated tooth. This information is sent to our dental laboratory, along with specifications about the color of your teeth. Dr. Goodman will provide you with a temporary inlay or onlay to wear while skilled ceramists carefully craft your dental inlay or onlay from medical-grade porcelain.
In about two weeks, you will return to Dr. Goodman's office for the placement of your new inlay or onlay. During this visit, your dentist will try in your new restoration to ensure that it fits properly. Finally, he will permanently bond the inlay or onlay in place.
Once your treatment is complete, you can leave our office with restored balance, comfort, and aesthetics in your smile. You should care for your restored tooth as normal, with regular brushing and flossing.
Contact Dr. Goodman's office today if you have suffered dental trauma, are experiencing dental pain, or simply need to establish ongoing general dental care. Dr. Goodman can perform an in-depth examination to identify your needs and determine an effective treatment plan.