Are you missing a tooth or two? Do you have crumbling teeth that have been bothering you for years? You’re not alone! Dental inlays, onlays are the modern solution for filling these gaps in your smile. Inlays and onlays are direct restorations made from composite resin materials that mimic natural teeth’ look and feel.
Missing teeth, broken teeth and accidents can be very painful. When more than a third of a tooth’s biting surface is damaged or broken, a porcelain inlay or onlay may be required, especially on molars.
These naturally contoured restorations are bonded into place using strong composite resin. Inlays and Onlays protect teeth similarly as crowns but conserve more natural tooth structure and your tooth’s natural color.
At 32 Pearls Tacoma, we are here to serve you with your dentistry inlays, onlays, and fillings. If you find yourself in a situation where your tooth is broken, don’t wait for it get worse—get it treated at our office as soon as possible. If you feel even the slightest pain, please contact us at (253) 564-7911.
Reasons for Inlays, Onlays, and Fillings
Inlays and onlays are fillings to treat, repair, and fill in a small area of a damaged tooth but not the whole tooth. Reasons for an inlay or only filling include:
- Mild or moderate decay
- Cracked tooth
- Fractured tooth
- Teeth damaged from grinding
- Cavity repairs
- Worn-out fillings
- Hard to reach flossing or brushing areas
- Forgotten molars
- Broken tooth
Inlays and Onlays are a modern solution to broken or cracked cusps.
A better solution to fillings is dental inlays, onlays. These direct restorations use composite resin to restore teeth rather than creating a cavity. Inlays and onlays can be bonded directly onto your teeth, so they don’t need to be constantly replaced as fillings do. Your dentist will discuss whether an inlay or an onlay is right for you.
Differences between inlays and onlays
Inlays and onlays are two very similar procedures that can be used to repair fractured or damaged teeth. The difference between inlays and onlays is that an inlay covers the tooth’s surface while the inlay fills the area between the cusps but not over them.
Cusps are the pointy parts of your teeth. They’re rough and can chip, crack or break. Some of your teeth may have inlays or onlays to protect the cusps from chipping or grinding and restore their original shape.
Onlays and inlays are a long-lasting, reliable way to fill a tooth. For this reason, they can be a good option when you need ongoing maintenance or if you want to avoid future treatments. They are not always made at the dentist’s office, so be sure to ask staff at 32 Pearls if they can prepare your fillings at their office or if they are sent out.
Procedure for Inlays and onlays
The procedure for inlays and onlays is the same. They include cleaning, molding the tooth, images, and a newly manufactured piece to fill the tooth. Fillings are minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry and are standard procedures.
- Preparing a tooth for a filling – It is important to remove decay or damage from the inside of the tooth. This will leave the healthy part of the tooth intact. Your dentist will remove only a little bit of tooth.
- Local anesthesia is injected into the skin around the damaged area, depending on how it is to be removed or repaired. The anesthetic will numb your mouth, lips, and gums. You may ask about sedative dentistry for anxiety or pain. Please see our sedative dentistry information service page.
- The tooth is cleaned and prepared for a mold.
- A hole or area of repair is made in your tooth, allowing the area to be filled in with inlays or onlays.
- A mold is taken from the damaged tooth and sent to a lab for a customizable filling.
- The mold has to fit the teeth properly and fits the size before inlay or onlay bonding.
- The inlay or onlay is affixed in the tooth and saves your tooth.
If you want to avoid future fillings, it’s up to you to take care of your teeth. Brush after meals and rinse with fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash. Consider a dental sealant if you have molars that are vulnerable to cavities. Avoid candy, soft drinks, or drinks with sugar or imitation coloring. Eat more fruits and vegetables; drink plenty of water.
Make sure you visit your dentist regularly for routine dental cleanings—this will help ensure complete oral health. If necessary, call 32 Pearls for emergency dental work; we provide 24 hour emergency dental services here in our office.
Call 32 Pearls Tacoma for more information on Inlays, Onlays and other methods of cosmetic dentistry. (253) 564-7911