PRESCOTT INLAYS & ONLAYS
Prescott Dental Arts offers Inlays and Onlays for your family in Prescott, Arizona
In restoring a tooth to a healthy and natural appearance, there are cases when tooth damage is too severe to be treated with just a filling, and too minor to be treated with a dental crown. In these situations there is an intermediate solution referred to as an Inlay or an Onlay. Inlays and onlays are a more conservative treatment option than a crown because they cover and protect only the biting surface and cusps of the molars, rather than encasing the entire tooth. At Prescott Dental Arts in Prescott AZ, we can place inlays and onlays on teeth that have suffered structural damage.
Inlays vs. Onlays
Inlays and onlays are similar and have only minor differences between them. Both are custom made from a block of porcelain to precisely fit the contours of the patient’s tooth surface. Either one can replace the surface tooth structure that has been lost from the biting surface of the molars. The primary differences between inlays and onlays are their size and area of the tooth that they treat. Inlays are smaller restorations that fill in the indented surface of the molars. Onlays are larger restorations, which fill in the indented surface of the tooth and the tooth’s cusps, which extend up around the indented surface.
The Treatment Process
Like crowns, inlays and onlays are indirect tooth restorations. Indirect tooth restorations are fabricated in an environment outside of the patient’s mouth, whereas the dental filling treatment process involves placing the composite resin directly onto the tooth, making it a direct tooth restoration. Inlays and onlays are precisely milled to the tooth surface’s contours at an outside dental lab.
When a patient comes to our office for an inlay or onlay, the affected tooth area is cleansed to remove the infected and decayed tooth material. Then, we take a digital impression with a tooth-scanning computer, design the restoration, and send the information to a machine where the inlay or onlay is milled.
After about 30 minutes, the inlay or onlay is ready to go. If the fit is correct, we bond the inlay or onlay to the tooth using a strong and durable dental bonding material. The patient’s bite is then checked and final adjustments, if needed, are made to ensure comfort and a natural fit.