Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and Onlays:  They’re like fillings on steroids!

Inlays and onlays are porcelain restorations that can be place in or on top of a tooth when it is structurally unsound but we want to avoid placing a full crown.

Inlays and onlays require two visits to complete.  At the first visit, Dr. Sycamore will design and create a preparation for the inlay or onlay.  An impression is taken and about a week later Dr. Sycamore will cement the restoration in place. It seems like a lot of work to do when it could be done in one visit with a filling. But sometimes inlays and onlays have their advantages.

When to use inlays and onlays

The decay extends to the cusps

When the decay extends to the cusps it weakens the tooth to the point where it is at risk for fracture. In such a case on onlay can extend over the cusp and unite the cusps and strengthen the tooth.

The decay extends too far under the gums

If the decay spreads so far down under the gums that it makes it difficult to seal the filling to the tooth, it makes sense to place an inlay.  It can better seal that location of the tooth and last a lot longer and prevent further damage to the tooth.

The patient excessively grinds the teeth

If the patient excessively grinds the teeth, the softer filling will loose structural integrity and fail in a very short time. The broken seal puts the tooth for recurrent decay and weakens it. A inlay or onlay can be made of stronger materials that are more tolerable to grinding or clenching and last a lot longer.

Previous fillings have failed

Einstein said the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If fillings keep being replaced on the same tooth, it might be smart to try something else and place a inlay or onlay instead of replacing the filling for the nth time.

Inlays and onlays are excellent restorations because they are beautiful, strong, and resistant to recurrent decay.