Inlays and Onlays: The Middle Ground between Crowns and Fillings

onlay and moldIf dental damage is not severe enough to require a dental crown, but too extensive to repair with a filling, inlays and onlays can be an excellent solution. For decades, Dr. Jeffrey J. Emmi has used inlays and onlays to restore his Wilmington, DE, patients' smiles following larger cavity treatment and moderate trauma. To learn more about the unique advantages of dental inlays and onlays, contact Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates today.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays - also called partial crowns - serve similar functions, but are designed to restore two different areas of a tooth. A dental inlay covers only the top, or biting surface of a tooth, whereas an onlay extends beyond the pointed cusps and down the sides of a tooth. These restorations can also be used to replace old or damaged metal fillings. Both inlays and onlays help to support a tooth by filling the void resulting from the treatment of decay or trauma. Your inlay or onlay will be custom designed to match the natural surface of an individual tooth, providing an incredibly secure fit while restoring structural integrity.

Inlays and onlays:

  • Are extremely stable and strong. They are made from the same dental-grade porcelain as dental crowns and other restorations, and with proper care, you can expect an inlay or onlay to last many years.
  • Look natural. Inlays and onlays are custom crafted to match the color of your natural teeth.
  • Are easy to clean, and will not stain. Simply resume normal brushing and flossing to maintain your restored tooth.
  • Do not require the treated tooth to be excessively reshaped. Unlike crowns, inlays and onlays only require structural refinement in an isolated area of the tooth.

Receiving an Inlay or Onlay

Inlay or onlay placement usually requires two appointments. During the first visit, Dr. Emmi will remove all damaged or decayed portions. Next, we will take detailed impressions of the tooth. These impressions will be sent to a trusted offsite lab, where your custom-made inlay or onlay will be fabricated to achieve a precise fit with your tooth. In the meantime, Dr. Emmi will place a temporary restoration over the treated tooth to provide protection between visits. Once your permanent restoration is created, you will return for your second appointment. Dr. Emmi will remove the temporary restoration before securely bonding the permanent inlay or onlay into place. After performing a final polishing, you will leave our office with a completely restored tooth.

Learn More about Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are a conservative treatment option that allows you to retain as much natural tooth tissue as possible following treatment for decay or trauma. Meanwhile, patients with traditional metal fillings can receive inlays and onlays to achieve a more natural-looking tooth surface. If you have suffered trauma, or if you are experiencing symptoms of tooth decay, we are here to help. Contact Smile Solutions by Emmi Dental Associates today to schedule an appointment.

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