An Inlay/Onlay is an indirect restoration consisting of a solid substance gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. It is made by a professional dental laboratory and is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.
An inlay procedure requires two appointments. Your appointment will include taking a highly accurate impressions (molds) that will be used to create your custom inlay and a temporary restoration will be placed to protect both until final restoration is complete.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will remove any decay and/or old filling materials. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared, shaping the surface to properly fit an inlay restoration. Your new inlay will be carefully and precisely cemented into place. An adjustment may be necessary to ensure a proper fit and that your bite is comfortable.
You will receive care instruction at the conclusion of your treatment. Good oral hygiene practices, a proper diet, and regular dental visits will aid in the life of your new inlay.
Inlays are designed to fit between the cusps of a patient’s teeth. These are the small points on a tooth’s biting surfaces. An inlay mainly addresses decay in the center of a tooth and only covers a small part of its biting surface. An onlay is usually recommended when decay also affects the cusps of a patient’s tooth. The onlay goes over the cusps, protecting them from further decay and damage.
Getting an inlay or onlay is like getting a crown placed on a tooth. It typically starts with the dentist removing decayed material from the tooth. A shot of a local anesthetic is administered to numb the tooth so the patient does not feel pain.
Placing an onlay or inlay requires the removal of some enamel to improve the way that the restoration fits, but it is not as much as the installation of a crown requires. After the patient’s tooth has been prepared, the dentist will give them a mold to bite down on. This creates an impression of the tooth that is sent to a lab. It takes about two weeks for the restoration to be made and returned to the clinic.
Inlays and onlays are durable restorations that do not require any more care than the teeth normally do. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are all the maintenance that these restorations need. Patients should also avoid chewing on hard things, like ice, that can end up damaging the restoration.