If your tooth has a very large cavity that has decayed more than half of the chewing surface, we might choose to fix the problem with an inlay or an onlay instead of a filling or crown. We can make your inlays or onlays from composite resin, porcelain, or gold for extra strength compared to fillings. The type of material we choose depends entirely on a number of factors including the extent of the damage, the health of your tooth, and your overall smile goals. Both porcelain and tooth-colored composite resin provide natural-looking inlays and onlays.
An inlay fits inside all of the cusps, or highest points, along the chewing surface of a tooth, while an onlay covers one or more of the cusps. A dental lab will craft a single piece of porcelain, gold, or composite resin into the right shape to fit your cavity. This inlay or onlay will resemble the chewing surface of your tooth. Once it has been created, we will place it inside of the damaged area to restore function and protect the tooth from further decay.
Thanks to advances in dental technology, we can use tooth-colored materials to craft your inlays and onlays. While metals were previously the standard for dental restorations, porcelain has proven to be as strong as well as an aesthetic choice for those who want both. We can also use porcelain or composite resin inlays or onlays to replace silver amalgam fillings for a metal-free, mercury-free smile.
Inlays and onlays require at least two appointments for assessment, creation, design, and placement. We will take impressions of your tooth, and these impressions are sent to a dental lab, where your inlay or onlay will be created just for you. This process can take a couple of weeks, and during this time you'll wear a temporary inlay or onlay. Once your dental restoration is ready, you return to our dental office for placement. The inlay or onlay is bonded to the tooth, and we polish the restoration to make sure you look your best.
We can also create and place your porcelain inlays and onlays in a single visit with CEREC technology.
Contact Carlisle Family & Cosmetic Dentistry for an assessment of your smile, and we can help determine if an inlay or onlay is the right restoration for you. Located in Carlisle, PA, we serve Camp Hill, Mechanicsburg, Boiling Springs, and surrounding communities, offering excellent dental care for the entire family.