Most people suffering from cavities need dental fillings. However, the cavities may occasionally be too big for dental fillings. When that’s the case, you may need indirect restorative dental services, such as inlays and onlays. Indirect restorative dentistry services refer to those that have to be prepared in a dental laboratory and attached to the affected tooth.

At Sapphire Smiles, our dentist examines your teeth and cavities to recommend the ideal restorative dentistry procedures. Our goal is to help you avoid problems like cavities altogether. And even if you have cavities, we want to treat it with minor dental restoration procedures, like tooth-colored composite fillings. However, if your cavity is too large for fillings, we also provide excellent inlays and onlays. Please continue reading to learn more about the inlays and onlays procedures.

Do you think you have a cavity? Onlays may be the right treatment for you. Schedule your appointment today!

Introduction to Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and only are called indirect restorations because they’re prepared outside your teeth in a dental lab. The dentist examines your teeth and recommends inlays/ onlays if your cavity is too large for fillings. After assessing your teeth, the dentist takes a dental mold of your teeth and cavities, which are then sent to the dental laboratory for preparation. Once the inlays and onlays are prepared, the dentist attached them to your teeth to seal the cavities.

Let our skilled dentist see if onlays are the right treatment for you! Schedule today.

Inlays vs. Onlays

Dental inlays are attached within the cavity with prepared custom-made material. Depending on the cavity’s size, the dentist mills or casts the inlay material into shape, fitting them into the grooves of the cavity. Inlay restorations aren’t supposed to go over the tooth’s cusps.

Dental onlays are larger than dental inlays but still smaller than dental crowns. They are also attached within the dental cavity with prepared custom-made material, like porcelain. The dentist shapes the onlay to fit securely within the cavity or grooves of the tooth. Onlay restorations go over the tooth’s cusp.

As such, the greatest difference between inlays and onlays is one of size and depth. Inlays are comparatively small, used for cavities that don’t extend beyond the tooth’s cusp. Onlays are larger, used for cavities that extend beyond the cusps of the tooth.

Prevent further damage to your teeth with onlays! Schedule online today.

Benefits of Inlays & Onlays

  • Durability: Inlays and onlays are a lot more durable and resistant to external pressures than dental fillings. They’re also more resistant to fractures, with a lower risk of coming off or breaking.
  • Stain-Resistant: Inlays and onlays are made of stain-resistant materials. As such, you can consume all kinds of beverages without fear, your onlays won’t get discolored.
  • Natural-Appearance: Porcelain onlays perfectly blend with the rest of your teeth, especially if the dentist ensures they have the same shade as your surrounding teeth. Porcelain also has the same color and texture as enamel, reflecting light similarly, making it indistinguishable from your teeth.
  • Custom-Designed: Onlays and inlays are custom-designed in a dental laboratory to fit within your tooth’s structure.
  • Longevity: Inlays and onlays can also last up to 30 years if you take care of them. However, in some cases, they may need replacement sooner.

Inlays & Onlays Procedure

  • Dental Preparation: During your first session, the dentist prepares your teeth to receive the onlays and inlays. If you already have a dental filling, the dentist will remove the filling before proceeding. This is occasionally necessary if your filling is damaged or if the cavity spreads beyond the fillings. After the filling removal, the dentist will remove the decayed tissues and shape the cavity and tooth.
  • Inlay/ Onlay Preparation: The dentist will take a mold of your current tooth and cavity and an impression of your tooth’s shade. The dentist will eventually send these impressions and dental mold to the dental laboratory for the onlay preparation.
  • Temporary Filling: The dentist will need to seal the existing cavity while you wait for the inlays and onlays to be prepared. If they don’t seal the cavity, you may suffer from infection again. The inlay will also protect your tooth from sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.
  • Inlay/ Onlay Placement: Once the inlay or onlay is prepared, you’ll have to go for another session. The dentist will provide local anesthesia and remove the temporary filling. Following that, the dentist will attach the inlay or onlay in place with dental cement. After attaching the inlays and onlays, the dentist may make some final adjustments.

If you suffer from tooth decay, dental fillings may be the right option for you. Schedule your dental filling appointment today!

Onlays Q&As

How are onlays different from fillings and crowns?

Inlays and onlays are larger than dental fillings and used to treat larger cavities. They are also stronger than dental fillings. While they’re not as large as dental crowns, they also don’t necessitate as much enamel removal, preserving more of your tooth’s original structure. Eventually, whether you need fillings, inlays, onlays, or crowns comes down to the size and depth of the cavity or dental fracture.

How long do onlays last?

Dental inlays and onlays are incredibly strong and durable. If you take care of them properly with optimal oral hygiene, they can also last up to 30 years.

Does the onlays procedure hurt?

No, the inlays and onlays procedures are painless and comfortable because the dentist provides local anesthesia to dull sensation.

Can I get onlays in a single session?

Onlay is an indirect restoration, which means it needs to be prepared in a dental laboratory. As such, the dentist will initially prepare your tooth and send impressions of your cavity to the dental laboratory. You will get the onlays during your second session, which may be a few days or weeks after the first session.

Do you want to learn more about Onlays? Ask us!

Contact Sapphire Smiles for Onlays in Houston Heights

Sapphire Smiles specializes in some of the latest and safest restorative dentistry procedures, including fillings, onlays, and crowns. We examine your teeth and cavities to curate the ideal and least invasive restorative procedure. For more information, please schedule an appointment for onlays at Sapphire Smiles, Houston Heights.