Inlays and onlays are the perfect compromise, allowing our dentists to remove cavities while preserving as much natural tooth structure as possible.
Dental Inlays vs. Onlays
While inlays and onlays are similar, they fix different parts of your teeth as shown in the diagram below.
From left to right, the diagram shows an inlay, onlay, and dental crown.
Cusps are the pointed tips on the chewing surfaces of your teeth.
As you can see, we may use an inlay to repair damage between the cusps. But your dentist may use an onlay to repair damage that includes the cusps.
The right tooth in the diagram shows a dental crown, which covers the entire visible surface of the tooth above the gums.
A dental crown is different from an onlay because it requires us to remove more tooth structure so the crown can fit on top. This restores the full function and appearance of fragile teeth.
What to Expect
First, your dentist will numb your mouth so you don’t experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Next, they’ll remove the decayed tooth structure and take digital impressions of your teeth.
We’ll then send these impressions to a dental lab that will make your inlay or onlay. Unlike fillings, inlays and onlays are “indirect” restorations.
While fillings are molded directly onto your teeth, inlays and onlays are made in a lab. Your dentist will bond them onto your teeth during your second appointment. In the meantime, your dentist will protect your tooth by placing a temporary cover on top.
When you return for your second appointment, your inlay or onlay will be waiting for you. Our dentist will remove the temporary cover from your tooth and replace it with the permanent restoration.
Yourwill be custom made for your smile, matching the exact color and contours of your teeth. That way, your teeth will look and feel natural.
Learn More About Inlays and Onlays
Do you have questions for our dentists? To schedule an appointment with Robinson Dental, call any of our offices in Coopersville or Wayland. We’d be more than happy to help you explore appropropriate treatment options for your smile.