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Inlays & Onlays


Woman smiling with perfect teethWhen you have a large cavity which cannot be effectively restored by a filling, at Jonathan J. Golab, DDS, PA, we recommend getting inlay and onlay treatments.

Inlays and onlays are conservative, minimally invasive treatment options to dental crowns since they do not require filing down a large amount of enamel. A crown, although a very important procedure to save a tooth, requires the erosion of healthy tooth structures and can increase the risk of tooth fracture.

Differences Between Inlays and Onlays


Both inlays and onlays are fabricated in a lab. However, these tooth restorations have a few differences:
•  Inlay: Inlay is a premade filling that fits into the grooves of the teeth and does not extend over the cusps or chewing surfaces of the teeth. This is a good way to restore a tooth after it has suffered decay or trauma that does not affect the cusps. We will take an impression of the affected tooth and will send it to the laboratory for fabrication. Inlays are usually made from composite resin shaded to match the color of your natural teeth. They are also more durable than regular fillings made from composite or amalgam and actually increase the strength of the tooth. Gold inlays are also quite popular since they are very durable, though, naturally, they are also very expensive.
•  Onlay: An onlay is a restorative option that fixes a tooth which has damage extending to the cusps. Onlays help to repair more extensive damage that can be fixed by inlays but not so much that a crown is needed. As with inlays, ceramic onlays bond tightly to the tooth and increase the stability and strength of the affected tooth.
•  Ask Dr. Jonathan Golab whether you are a candidate for inlays or onlays.

Fitting an Inlay or Onlay


The procedure to make and place an inlay and onlay is the same and requires two dental visits.
During your first visit, we will numb you with a local anesthesia. We will then prepare the tooth by removing the decayed portion of the tooth. Since the procedure is noninvasive, we will only remove a very small portion of your tooth. Once the tooth has been cleaned, an impression is taken and sent to a dental lab to fabricate the inlay or onlay.

Inlays and onlays can be made from resin, porcelain, or gold material. Gold has previously been the most popular choice although its metallic color is not very aesthetically pleasing. The inlay or onlay will be placed on your teeth to ensure a proper fit before they are bonded with cementum.

When it comes to the health of your teeth, prevention is the key. However, in spite of good oral hygiene, if you sustain damage, a dental inlay or onlay can be the best option for you. If you suspect you have a cavity or fracture in your tooth, call us at (469) 444-7919 today and we will determine whether you are eligible to have an inlay or onlay treatment.


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