Inlays and Onlays
When a tooth has a cavity, the traditional treatment is a dental filling. When a tooth is seriously damaged or decayed, the traditional treatment is root canal therapy and a dental crown. When a tooth has damage that’s too significant to be treated with a filling but not serious enough to need a root canal and dental crown, an inlay or onlay might be the most appropriate option.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are dental prosthetics that are typically made of porcelain. They are custom-designed and made to achieve a perfect, natural-feeling fit and a seamless aesthetic for your smile.
- Inlays – An inlay is a dental prosthetic designed to fill, cover, and seal the chewing surface of a tooth, leading up to but not over the cusps (ridges around the edge of the tooth’s chewing surface).
- Onlays – An onlay is a similar dental prosthetic. However, onlays are designed to fill, cover, and seal the chewing surface of a tooth while extending beyond the cusps.
What Do Inlays and Onlays Treat?
Inlays and onlays treat dental health issues such as:
- Significant breaks, chips, or fractures
- Significant tooth decay
They are used when a dental filling is not sufficient treatment but when the damage to a tooth has not reached the interior pulp, making a root canal and dental crown unnecessary.
The Process of Getting an Inlay or Onlay
When getting an inlay or an onlay, Dr. Sanyk first addresses the treatment area, determining whether any decay is present. If tooth decay is present, she first prepares the area, removing the decay. If the tooth needs to be drilled in the presence of tooth decay, treatment will not begin until a local anesthetic has been administered. This prevents you from feeling any pain or sensitivity during the process.
We then take impressions of the treatment area. These impressions are then sent to a dental device manufacturer where your custom inlay or onlay will be created.
While waiting for your inlay or onlay, Dr. Sanyk might seal your tooth using special dental materials to prevent further decay or infection from occurring.
Once your inlay or onlay is ready, we will contact you to schedule a placement appointment. Once again, we administer a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area and prevent sensitivity. The tooth is then cleaned, and your new inlay or onlay is placed and permanently secured with dental cement.
When your new inlay or onlay has been placed, you are all ready to go. You can care for it just like your other teeth, with regular brushing and flossing.
To protect and prolong the life of your inlay or onlay, we recommend avoiding chewing on hard objects like ice or pens. You should also refrain from using your teeth as tools.
Comprehensive Restorative Dentistry With Our Dentist in Hilliard
Smile Hilliard is proud to provide our patients with the best in restorative and general dentistry. We offer a wide variety of restorative dental treatments, such as dental fillings, dental crowns, bridges, and dental implants in addition to inlays on onlays. Whether your smile’s health and aesthetics could be improved with an individual treatment or a complete smile makeover, Dr. Sanyk is here to help you achieve your smile goals while working with you to keep your teeth and gums healthy for life. Contact our Hilliard, OH office today for an appointment.