Inlays and onlays are often referred to as partial crowns. They use the existing tooth as a base and fit the inlay or onlay onto the tooth. This is done to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent further damage. An inlay is done when there is no damage to the cusps of the tooth and the inlay can be placed right on the tooth. An onlay is used when the damage is a little more extensive and requires additional protection of the cusps of a tooth.
The decayed area of the tooth is first removed during the procedure. A mold of the tooth is then taken and sent to a dental lab. The lab creates a restoration made from porcelain, gold, or a composite resin. The restoration takes about 2-3 weeks to make, so a temporary inlay or onlay will be placed on the tooth for that time. During your next visit the inlay or onlay will be placed into your mouth and set with dental cement. Please call our office to see if inlays or onlays are right for your dental treatment needs.