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Inlays & Onlays


Woman smiling with perfect teeth.Inlays and onlays are tooth restoration options for teeth affected by fracturing or decay. They are both classified as indirect fillings because they are made in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the tooth's surface during a subsequent appointment. Standard fillings, on the other hand, are made in our office.

What is the difference between Inlays and Onlays?


Inlays and onlays are both premolded fillings that we fit onto a tooth. If the damage to the tooth is between the cusp tips, then we use an inlay. However, if the tooth has suffered more extensive damage that extends to the cusps and beyond, we employ an onlay to cover and fix it.

How do Inlays and Onlays compare to other Treatment Options?


Traditional fillings can weaken the structure of the tooth on which they're placed, but inlays and onlays strengthen teeth. After they're installed, the restored tooth can endure between 50 to 75 percent more pressure from chewing.

Dental onlays are not as expensive as dental crowns. When we prepare a tooth to receive an onlay, we strive to preserve as much of the original tooth as possible. Onlays are therefore a great alternative to crowns if your tooth only has minimal tooth decay reaches into the flossing area.

What Materials are used for Inlays and Onlays?


Inlays and onlays are made from various materials such as gold, porcelain, and resin. The main difference between these substances is their appearance.

The location where the filling is supposed to go will determine which material is the best choice. Generally, we use tooth-colored porcelain for fillings in the more visible areas of the smile. For fillings in the back of the mouth, we can use gold or metal. We also use resin materials for people who grind their teeth or who have a misaligned bite.

What is the Procedure for Placing an Inlay or an Onlay?


We usually need two separate appointments to complete an inlay or onlay. During the first visit, Dr. Gregory J. Gorman, DMD will prepare your teeth for the filling. We will make molded impressions of the affected teeth and send them to the laboratory that will craft the inlay or onlay. We may make you a temporary filling at this time to protect your tooth until the permanent filling is finished.

The second visit has us remove the temporary fillings (if we installed any) and put on the permanent inlay or onlay. Dr. Gregory J. Gorman, DMD will examine your bite and ensure that the fillings are tight and smooth. He will then bond the fillings onto your teeth and polish them.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays


Among the assets of inlays and onlay are their resistance to discoloration, the ease of cleaning them, and the fact that they don't shrink as they harden. This method allows us to preserve the structure of the natural tooth and prolong its functional longevity. Since we don't need to reshape the tooth we are restoring completely, inlays and onlays can strengthen teeth. The fillings themselves are very stable and resilient.

For more information, please contact our office at (970) 812-3959.
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