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Inlays and Onlays – Conservative Choices to a Crown

January 16, 2017

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsboyd @ 3:42 pm

Ceramic inlayWith more than four decades of collective experience, the Drs. Boyd are true masters of their craft. That includes, of course, providing superior care in restorative dentistry. One common treatment for moderately decayed or damaged teeth is the inlay or onlay. It’s more conservative than a crown, and they fit much better than a traditional filling. When might you need an inlay or an onlay? Keep reading to learn more about these popular restorative solutions.

First of All — What’s the Difference Between an Inlay and Onlay?

We often use the terms inlay/onlay together because they are very similar. There is one key difference between the inlay and onlay. For smaller bits of decay or damage, the inlay is placed within the chewing cusp of the tooth like a traditional filling. An onlay is used for more significant spots of decay and when more of a tooth is missing. Larger than an inlay, the onlay covers the chewing surface and extends over the cusps of the tooth.

Inlays and Onlays at The Drs. Boyd

Inlays and onlays are often used to replace old fillings and for restoring cracks, or damage from decay when there is too much healthy tooth structure to affect using a dental crown. Or if there is too much decay to support a regular filling. Unlike standard fillings, an inlay/onlay does not weaken the tooth’s structure.

To treat your tooth with an inlay/onlay, our dentists first evaluate the extent of the damage, then apply local anesthesia and remove all the decay. Once the tooth is completely clean, impressions are made for the manufacture of your inlay/onlay. At the Drs. Boyd, we use high tech digital impressions to capture an extremely accurate image of your teeth. It’s far more comfortable than traditional liquid-hardening impressions. After the digital impressions, the inlay/onlay is carefully manufactured per your conditions, measurements and tooth configurations.

At Drs. Boyd we offer inlays/onlays made out of porcelain (ceramic) or gold. Our dentists will discuss the material that’s right for you depending on the location of the damage as well as your personal preference. The Drs. Boyd are one of the few dental practices that create gold inlay / onlays by the doctor in our on-site cosmetic dental laboratory. Porcelain or ceramic inlays / onlays are crafted offsite at a highly specialized lab.  

Advantages of Indirect Fillings

The benefits of an inlay or an onlay include:

  • A cost-effective conservative solution
  • More healthy tooth structure is preserved than with a crown
  • More long-lasting and supportive than a filling
  • Porcelain blends with surrounding tooth enamel

If you have tooth decay or damage that needs more than a filling but less than a dental crown, the Drs. Boyd are experts in the craft of restorative dentistry. Make the call to come in before more damage is done to your teeth. We invite you to schedule a visit today!

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