Inlays and Onlays Can Repair Molars with Extensive Decay

If you have extensive decay in one of your molars, you may be a good candidate for an inlay or onlay. These restorations are larger than fillings, but are a more conservative treatment than dental crowns. The inlays and onlays we provide at our Charlotte, NC, practice are fabricated with the highest-quality materials, and with proper dental care they can last for many years. An inlay or onlay fits within your tooth to restore oral function. At Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, Dr. John M. Pinnix, and Dr. George A. Betancourt offer custom-made restorations for a natural look and fit. 

Is an Inlay or Onlay a Good Option for You?

Fillings are the most common treatment for dental decay, but they are only appropriate for small to medium-sized cavities. If you have a large cavity that has severely weakened one of your molars, you may be a candidate for an inlay or onlay. The size and location of your cavity will determine which type of restoration is most appropriate. Inlays are often used to repair decay between the cusps of teeth, while onlays extend over the cusps, and may be more appropriate if you have a larger cavity. 

Our dentists are gentle and conservative. They offer minimal discomfort treatment and will preserve as much of your tooth as possible. 

What to Expect

Before placing an inlay or onlay, your dentist will need to reshape your tooth, removing decayed tissue to make room for your restoration. Our dentists are gentle and conservative. They offer minimal discomfort treatment and will preserve as much of your tooth as possible. Next, Dr. Pinnix or Dr. Betancourt will take impressions of your tooth. In some cases, your dentist may take manual impressions and send these molds to our dental lab for fabrication. In other instances, your doctor may use our CAD/CAM technology to take digital measurements. The data will upload to our CEREC® machine, which will produce your restoration in about an hour.

Image of dental inlay and onlay

Inlays and onlays are a conservative option for patients who require more than a filling but do not need a dental crown.

Before attaching your inlay or onlay, Dr. Pinnix or Dr. Betancourt will make sure that it fits correctly and ensure that it does not disrupt your bite. If you and your dentist are both satisfied with the restoration, your dentist will then attach it to your tooth.

What Are the Benefits of Inlays and Onlays?

Both lab-fabricated and CEREC®-fabricated restorations look very realistic. Our lab uses a variety of advanced tooth-colored materials. CEREC® inlays and onlays will also match the shade of your teeth and provide a natural sparkle.

Even more importantly, inlays and onlays can have tremendous functional benefits for your smile. After your inlay or onlay is placed, you will be able to bite and chew normally. Once any initial sensitivity subsides, you should be able to enjoy a full range of foods. The restoration can also strengthen your tooth and prevent further damage. In addition, because inlays and onlays are smaller than crowns, your dentist can preserve a larger portion of your tooth. 

Contact Us for More Information

Contact Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney to schedule your restorative consultation and learn more about inlays and onlays. You can trust our dentists to recommend the most conservative option possible to restore the health, function, and appearance of your smile.

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