Identified between a regular filling and a crown, a dental inlay or onlay can treat a damaged or decayed tooth. Used on molars and pre-molars, a dental inlay covers the concave center of a tooth while an onlay covers the rounded, upper edges of a tooth. Like dental fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays can be made in a variety of materials — porcelain, composite resin, and metal. Our board-certified Dental Health team can help Brattleboro, VT patients and their families better understand fillings, crowns, inlays, and onlays so they can make an informed decision about how to treat their teeth.
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A dental inlay or onlay is a good choice if you have a damaged tooth or a large cavity that is too big to get filled, but doesn't need the full coverage of a crown. During your examination, our Dental Health team will use your digital x-rays to decide on the best treatment for your tooth. If an inlay or onlay is selected, they will go over the available materials that will best suit your needs. You might also discuss whether you would prefer a direct restoration (an inlay or onlay made at our office with CEREC technology while you wait) or an indirect restoration made at a dental laboratory.
What To Expect
After applying local anesthesia to numb the treatment area, we will start by removing areas of decay. Stronger methods of sedation can be used if you have anxiety or a strong gag reflex. Once the tooth is cleaned, impressions will be made of the tooth. If you are receiving an indirect restoration, a temporary filling will be placed until it is prepared. Once your restoration is ready, our Dental Health team will carefully place and bond it onto your tooth. They may polish the edges or adjust the fit so your tooth is properly covered and feels comfortable.
If only local anesthesia was used, you should be able to leave after the procedure and return to your normal day. You may feel some discomfort, inflammation, or sensitivity for a few days after your inlay or onlay is placed. Please contact Dental Health if you have any concerns after your procedure. Your dental inlay or onlay should be cleaned just like your natural teeth with daily brushing and flossing. You should schedule annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings at our family dentistry facility so the Dental Health team can assess the health and wear of your restoration. With proper care, it should last for many years before needing to be replaced or repaired.
Inlays and onlays are a common treatment for dental decay and other damage, so they are usually covered by dental insurance. Our office will contact your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage before calculating your out-of-pocket costs. We can customize your treatment with different materials to fit your budget. During your consultation, our Dental Health team will go over cost estimates and payment methods we accept, including medical financing.
Inlays and Onlays
Whether you select an inlay or onlay, porcelain or metal, direct or indirect, it's important to treat a decayed or damaged tooth before it becomes a painful and expensive problem. Learn more about dental inlays and onlays to restore your teeth by scheduling a consultation at Dental Health in Brattleboro, VT. Our team will help improve your smile and oral health with the best treatment for your needs.