Inlays And Onlays

Russell B. Fox, DMD

General and Cosmetic Dentists located in Middleboro, MA

If you’ve experienced minor tooth decay, inlays and onlays can restore the function of your teeth and prevent further damage. The highly experienced team at Fox Dental in Middleboro, Massachusetts, places inlays and onlays to strengthen teeth as an alternative to fillings and crowns. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

Inlays and Onlays Q & A

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are a type of tooth restoration. Think of them as a middle ground between fillings and crowns.

Your dentist may recommend them if you have a cavity that’s too large for a simple filling, but if the damage isn’t significant enough for a crown, which covers the entire visible part of your tooth.

Inlays and onlays are “indirect restorations,” meaning they’re molded using images from 3D scans of your teeth, and then your dentist places them in your mouth. 

By comparison, fillings are “direct restorations” because your dentist performs all the necessary work inside your mouth.

The main difference between an inlay and onlay is what parts of your tooth they cover. An inlay fits into the center of your tooth. An onlay covers one or more “cusps,” the points of your tooth, and may even cover the entire biting surface.

Inlays and onlays are an excellent way to strengthen your teeth and preserve your tooth’s structure. They’re more durable than fillings, lasting up to 30 years, and unlike crowns, they don’t require removing any healthy tooth structure.

What is the process to place inlays and onlays?

Your dentist prepares your tooth by numbing the surrounding area with a local anesthetic, and then they remove the decayed or damaged part of your tooth.

Next, your Fox Dental dentist takes images of your teeth using a 3D scanner, and they’re used to create your inlay or onlay. Your dentist permanently bonds the inlay or onlay to your tooth. Before bonding the restoration, your dentist cleans your tooth and makes sure the inlay or onlay fits correctly.

How do I take care of inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are a conservative, low-maintenance restorative treatment. Teeth with inlays and onlays require the same daily care as any other tooth. Be sure to brush twice a day, floss once a day, and get regular cleanings at Fox Dental.

Your teeth and gums may feel a bit sensitive or tender immediately after your treatment. During this time, avoid drinking very cold or hot beverages and eating hard, sticky, or crunchy foods. It’s important to allow the cement time to bond fully.

To learn more about inlays and onlays, call Fox Dental or use the online booking tool.