Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are important types of restorations used in modern dentistry. These restorations are more substantial than a filling but less extensive than a dental crown. When it comes to restorations, Dr. Golab takes a conservative approach so that our practice can preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible. Following is helpful information on restorations – specifically inlays and onlays.

 

WHY RESTORATIONS ARE NECESSARY

Restoring and repairing teeth has been a focus for dental practitioners since the beginning of human civilizations. This is because teeth cannot self-repair once permanently damaged. What this means is that once a cavity forms or dental injury occurs, the condition of a person’s tooth will not improve without professional intervention. In fact, the condition of diseased or injured teeth could worsen substantially without professional treatment like restorations. When a restoration is placed, it protects a weakened tooth from cavity-causing bacteria and the forces exerted upon teeth during meals. Today’s restorations do not have to be unsightly. We offer discreet, tooth-colored restorations made from porcelain and composite resin.

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INLAYS

An inlay is a specific type of restoration used to treat moderate to large tooth decay on the biting surfaces of teeth. Inlays fit between the cusps of a tooth to fill in the depressions left by large cavities or failing fillings. Like other more extensive restorations, inlays are custom made for each patient from impressions and images taken by our dentist.

Inlays are useful restorations for cavities that develop on the tops of teeth for a few different reasons. First, inlays are made from more durable materials than composite resin (a compound used for fillings). This means that a damaged tooth reinforced with an inlay could tolerate occlusal forces much better than an untreated tooth. Inlays tend to have lower rates of recurrent decay than fillings as well.

 

ONLAYS

An onlay is another type of custom restoration used to protect the biting surfaces of teeth. Onlays differ, however, on where they are placed. An onlay is made to fit over a tooth’s cusp and extend down its outer surface. Like inlays, onlays are beneficial for preserving salvageable tooth structure along with protecting a tooth from decay and occlusal forces. An onlay is made from durable materials like porcelain from very precise specifications so that it properly fits over and protects a tooth.

Call us today to ask questions about restorations or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Golab.

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Common Inlays and Onlays Questions

What are inlays and onlays used for?

Inlays and onlays are specific types of restorations used to protect injured and diseased teeth. These restorations are custom made because they must fit perfectly over a specific tooth’s shape and size. An inlay is a moderate restoration used to protect the biting surfaces of teeth, between the cusps. For example, an inlay might be ideal for protecting the biting surface of a molar between its cusps after a person has developed a cavity. Onlays are used to protect a tooth’s cusps. Like an inlay, an onlay is custom made. An onlay is made to fit over one or more cusps and extend down a tooth’s side.

Inlays and onlays can be made from metals like gold or natural looking materials such as porcelain.

What is the meaning of inlay?

If you break down the word “inlay”, you can infer some context clues about its meaning. An inlay is placed in between the cusps of teeth. This means that it lays in between the cusps to protect the biting surfaces of a tooth. Inlays make for great restorations for replacing old fillings on molars or for when a tooth’s biting surface is weakened by injury or decay.

How much are inlays and onlays?

If you break down the word “inlay”, you can infer some context clues about its meaning. An inlay is placed in between the cusps of teeth. This means that it lays in between the cusps to protect the biting surfaces of a tooth. Inlays make for great restorations for replacing old fillings on molars or for when a tooth’s biting surface is weakened by injury or decay.

How much are inlays and onlays?

The cost of inlays and onlays varies depending on the tooth being treated and the material(s) chosen to create the restoration. Since these restorations are handcrafted, it does take a couple of weeks to receive them. The handmade nature of these restorations is reflected in their price. Some materials are also more expensive than others. For example, porcelain is costlier than gold but many patients enjoy porcelain for its very lifelike appearance. When it comes to choosing your restorations and their materials, the best way to receive an accurate estimate is to schedule an appointment with our dentist for a consultation. At the end of your consultation, our team will develop a personalized treatment plan with our recommendations and estimates.

What is the difference between an inlay and a crown?

While both inlays and dental crowns are custom restorations used to protect weakened tooth structure, these two restorations are quite different. A dental crown is a much more extensive restoration when compared to an inlay. An inlay only covers the biting surface of a tooth and is placed between its cusps. A dental crown, on the other hand, covers an entire tooth. Crowns cover all a tooth’s surfaces above the gum line, which means that the biting surfaces, cusps, and other visible tooth structure is protected. A dental crown is commonly placed to rebuild a worn down tooth.

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Meet Dr. Golab

Dr. Jonathan Golab graduated from the University of Toronto in 1987. His first degree was in Physiology, the other in Pharmacology. He then went on to complete his dental studies at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry in 1990.

Currently, Dr. Golab is a Member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, seeking his accreditation, held by only 258 dentists in the world. Dr. Golab seeks to complete his fellowship in the American Academy of General Dentistry, an honor shared by only 1% of dentists worldwide. Dr. Golab also is seeking his fellowship in the Academy of Contemporary Esthetics, a distinct honor among cosmetic dentists.

AN AWARD WINNING DENTIST

Dr. Golab is the recipient of multiple awards due to his standards of excellence in patient care. Most recently, he has been named The Best Family Dentist and The Best Cosmetic Dentist by the readers of Living Magazine. He has also been recognized as the Best Cosmetic Dentist in the region by News Connection. From 2005 to 2011, he was named Best Dentist-Denton County by readers of the Flower Mound Leader, and received the Reader’s Choice Award for Best Dentist and Best Cosmetic Dentist of Denton County in 2012 and 2013.

Jonathan J. Golab, DDS, PA