Inlays and Onlays

Home » General Family Dentistry » Inlays and Onlays

Smiling couple with dental inlays and onlays from their East Falmouth, MA dentist

Beautiful restorations are an important part of retaining and preserving your natural smile. As your East Falmouth area dental provider, at Mill Pond Dental, dental inlays and onlays are the preferred type of restoration when your tooth is too damaged for a filling but not damaged enough for a crown (otherwise known as a dental cap or tooth cap).

When Do You Need a Dental Inlay or Onlay?

Example of a tooth-colored filling in East Falmouth MA

Click for larger view

Damage to a tooth that is too severe to support a filling but not severe enough to require a dental cap calls for a dental inlay or onlay. Using a filling when a dental inlay is needed results in the continued decay of the remaining tooth, which eventually leads to the need for a root canal. Receiving a tooth cap or crown when one is not called for results in the unnecessary removal of healthy tooth structure.

Dental Inlays

Dental inlays are similar to fillings and fit inside the outer edges of the tooth. They can be made out of a variety of materials, but most often they’re made out of tooth-colored porcelain. The inlay procedure requires approximately two visits with East Falmouth, MA dentist Dr. Russo. During the first appointment, you receive a tooth-decay treatment; then impressions are taken and the temporary inlay is applied to the tooth. At the second appointment, the permanent inlay is bonded to the tooth, hiding any signs of imperfection.

Dental Onlays

Dental onlays, sometimes referred to as partial tooth caps, are similar to inlays in that the procedure is the same and takes place over the course of two days. Like a dental cap, it is a custom-made fitting that we secure to the damaged tooth; however, unlike a dental cap, it only covers a small portion of the affected tooth. Onlays cover one or more of the outer edges of a tooth. They are the conservative alternative to receiving a crown or tooth cap, and they preserve more of your natural tooth.

FAQ

Do inlays and onlays fix cavities?
Dr. Russo will use inlays and onlays, much like fillings, to fill or cover the area where a cavity once was. It minimizes the possibility of further decay to the existing tooth.
What are the most common treatments for tooth decay?

The most common tooth decay treatments that Dr. Russo use include:

  • Fluoride treatments
  • Restorations, including fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns/tooth caps
  • Root canals
  • In the most extreme cases, extraction

At Mill Pond Dental, we can also use dental inlays and onlays for cosmetic enhancement. If you would like to find out more about these restoration options, call 508.540.2303 today to schedule an appointment with our East Falmouth, MA dental office.