Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that repair damage to your enamel caused by tooth decay or trauma. Though they’re often mentioned together, inlays and onlays are two different things:
An inlay repairs a small amount of enamel damage to the top of your tooth. Specifically, inlays fit inside the cusps of your teeth. Cusps are the small ridges and bumps on the top of your molars and premolars (the teeth at the back of your mouth.)
Onlays also repair a small amount of enamel damage. However, instead of resting inside the cusps of your teeth, they extend to the chewing surfaces. Bonding an onlay to the top of your tooth doesn’t just repair the enamel, it also makes it stronger.
Dr. Ovsepian and the team use inlays and onlays to repair enamel damage that won’t respond to traditional restorations like fillings or crowns. For example, if you have damaged enamel, and the area is too large to repair with a filling but too small to repair with a crown, you’re likely a candidate for inlays or onlays.
Getting inlays and onlays take two appointments about a week apart.
At your first visit, Dr. Ovsepian conducts an oral exam, asks about your symptoms, and orders oral X-rays. If he detects a cavity or trauma, Dr. Ovsepian administers a local anesthetic and carefully removes the decaying or damaged portion of your tooth.
Next, he takes digital impressions of your tooth and sends them to a dental laboratory that designs and manufactures your custom inlay or onlay.
About a week later, when the laboratory finishes your custom inlay or onlay, you return to Plenty O’ Smiles. Dr. Ovsepian once again administers a local anesthetic, lines up the inlay or onlay with your tooth, and bonds it in place. Before you leave, Dr. Ovsepian polishes your teeth and explains how to care for your inlay or onlay.
Inlays and onlays typically last 5-10 years, but it’s possible to extend their lifespan by practicing good oral hygiene. Dr. Ovsepian and the team recommend:
To explore the benefits of inlays and onlays, make an appointment at Plenty O’ Smiles by calling the office today or scheduling online.