About Dental Inlays and Onlays
Falling between a dental filling and a full crown, a dental inlay or onlay is a type of dental restoration used to restore health, function, and appearance to a damaged tooth. Placed within premolar and molar teeth, a dental inlay covers the indented center portion while an onlay (also called a partial crowns) covers at least one of the rounded upper edges (cusps) on the chewing surface of a back tooth. Like fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays from Advanced Dentistry of Centre County can be created in a variety of materials — porcelain, metal, and composite resin. Our skilled general dentists are pleased to offer this treatment option to State College, PA patients and can help you determine if a dental inlay or onlay is ideal for your oral health needs.
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When Are Inlays and Onlays Used?
An inlay or onlay may be a fantastic restorative treatment option if you have a tooth with a cavity that is too big for a simple filling but does not require the full protection of a dental crown. This treatment approach may also be ideal if you have old silver fillings that need to be changed or that you would like to trade for a more aesthetic appearance. During your dental exam, our dentists will examine your tooth and review your digital x-rays to decide on the best treatment option for your needs. If an onlay or inlay is selected, we will explain the available materials that can best suit your needs. These restorations can be made of tooth-colored composite, porcelain, or metal materials.
What To Expect During Treatment
Inlays and onlays are generally created through an indirect method, meaning outside of the mouth in a professional dental lab. Before getting started with your restoration, our dentists will numb the treatment area and remove the damaged or decayed tooth structure (or old filling material). Sedation dentistry techniques may be used during your visit to provide further comfort and relief from any dental anxiety. Once the tooth is cleaned, an impression will be taken of the tooth and sent to a professional dental lab for the creation of your inlay or onlay. A temporary filling will be placed to maintain oral appearance and function while your permanent restoration is being prepared. Once your onlay or inlay is ready and arrives at our office, we will have you return so that our dentists can remove the temporary and carefully bond your new restoration to your tooth. They will polish the borders or adjust the fit to make certain your tooth and bite feel comfortable.
Caring for Your Dental Inlay or Onlay
If only local anesthesia is used, you will be able to leave after your procedure and return to your regular activities. You might feel some discomfort, inflammation, or sensitivity for a few days after your onlay or inlay is placed. Please contact Advanced Dentistry in the event you have any issues following your procedure. Your onlay or inlay can be cared for just like your own teeth through daily flossing, brushing, and overall good home care. When you visit Advanced Dentistry for your routine dental exams and cleanings, our dentists can assess the health and wear of the inlay or onlay. With proper maintenance and good care, your new restoration can last for many years.
Insurance Coverage for Restorative Care
Onlays and inlays are a common treatment for dental cavities and other problems and are often covered in part by dental insurance. Our financial coordinator will contact your insurance provider to review your specific policy before calculating any out-of-pocket expenses. During your consultation at Advanced Dentistry, we will talk with you about your options for covering any uninsured portion, including medical financing, and help you select an affordable solution that best meets your needs.
Establish a Healthy, Comfortable Smile
Treating tooth decay or other types of damage as soon as it is detected can help preserve your oral health and comfort along with the quality of your smile. Dental inlays and onlays are common restorative options our dentists at Advanced Dentistry of Centre County use to repair teeth that are beyond the point of a filling but not yet ready for a full crown. Find out more about dental inlays and onlays to help revive your smile and oral health by scheduling a visit at our State College, PA practice today!