The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

It's important that everyone has a great smile and that everyone takes care of their teeth. Inlays and onlays are a form of dental restoration that a dentist can discuss with a patient. They provide many benefits, including an alternative to dental crowns. They can help to repair tooth decay and give a patient the function they need to eat all of their favorite foods. Inlays and onlays are a porcelain filling, giving the tooth superior strength.


Inlays involve the porcelain being bonded to the tooth's center. A superior fit can be maintained and they won't discolor the way that resin fillings often do over time. When there is not a significant amount of damage, this is going to be the option that we are likely going to recommend at Great Lakes Dental Arts.


Onlays work a little differently because they are going "on" the teeth, including at least one of the cusps on the tooth. This may provide full coverage for the biting surface. Depending upon the level of tooth decay and overall damage that a person is experiencing, this may be the best option – particularly if they are looking for a conservative option in comparison to a full dental crown.


We always practice preventative dentistry and feel that many people can avoid inlays and onlays by visiting one of our dentists on a regular basis. However, damage does happen from time to time and our goal is to explore all of the options. Inlays and onlays are capable of protecting the weak areas of the teeth. This strength and stability is necessary to help nurse a damaged tooth back to health. It can also help to keep out bacteria so that there is a higher level of oral hygiene. Teeth cleaning is made easy and the fit is tailored to a person as the inlays and onlays are made in our own lab and then presented to the patient. We take the time to make sure there is a premium fit and that the esthetics are ideal. Having an inlay or onlay fabricated and made for the tooth takes two visits. On the first visit the tooth will be "prepped" for the restoration. You will leave that day with a temporary. After a few weeks your restoration will be fabricated and you will come back for what is called the "seat" appointment. At this time the dentist will ensure a proper fit, take a radiograph to verify, and then bond the restoration to your tooth. Inlays and onlays typically are a permanent restoration, meaning you cannot take them out. There are many of the same benefits between inlays and onlays and can provide a patient with confidence when they have beautiful teeth once again. At Great Lakes Dental Arts Cosmetic Dentistry in Mentor, Ohio, we provide people with the services needed to give them a conservative approach to restoration without the cost. Inlays and onlays are covered by most insurance and we can work with patients to find an affordable method.