Inlays and Onlays

inlays and onlays

inlays and onlaysServing Patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville, TN

With modern advances in dentistry, it is possible to repair cavities without sacrificing aesthetics like in years past when those silver, amalgam fillings would have been the only option. Now, your Greeneville dentist can repair your tooth with a porcelain inlay or onlay that matches your tooth and blends in with your smile.

For intermediate areas of tooth decay or damage, your Greeneville family dentist at Tusculum Dental Care can install an inlay or an onlay made of high-quality dental porcelain. Here, we will discuss the difference between an inlay and an onlay, as well as reasons why you might need one.

What is an inlay and an onlay procedure?

Both treatments are essentially the same, which use porcelain material to repair a decayed or damaged tooth. The difference between the two is the size and how much of the tooth that the material covers. For instance, an inlay would cover the chewing surface of a tooth, between the cusps or tiny bumps. An onlay covers more of the tooth’s surface, including the cusps.

What do inlays and onlays do?

If you have a large cavity, but not enough damage that your tooth requires a crown, then your dentist in Greeneville may recommend an inlay or an onlay. The purpose of an inlay or an onlay is to preserve as much of your tooth’s natural structure as possible. However, some cases may warrant a more extensive procedure such as needing a crown. If your tooth has sustained extensive damage beyond what an inlay or onlay can repair, we may recommend a dental crown to strengthen your tooth and preserve it from needing to be extracted.

Do I need an inlay or an onlay?

Only a consultation with us at Tusculum Dental Care can determine with certainty whether you need this type of restoration or not. However, if you have a rather large area of tooth decay, or a current filling has fallen out, then you may need an inlay or an onlay.

What should I expect during the procedure?

To begin, we make sure that your mouth is numb so that you do not feel any discomfort during your procedure. The dentist will remove any decayed portion of the tooth, and then we will need to take impressions of your tooth. These impressions are used to craft your custom-made inlay or onlay. A temporary filling will be placed to protect your tooth while the dental lab makes your porcelain restoration. Once your restoration is ready, we will remove the temporary filling, and then permanently cement the restoration into your tooth.

The Results

Patients much appreciate the natural look of their inlay or onlay since it is specially designed to look just like it is part of your tooth. When you see the restoration in your mouth, you will not be able to tell it is there. Be sure that you practice good oral hygiene to prevent future decay in other teeth. It is also advisable that you visit the dentist twice a year for cleanings and examinations.

During your visits, we will assess the condition of your restoration, but if at any time your restoration cracks or falls out, please contact our office immediately to have it replaced.

Inlays and Onlays in Greeneville

To learn more about dental implants or to schedule a consultation, contact Tusculum Dental Care today by calling (423) 639-7575 to schedule a consultation.

Tusculum Dental Care welcomes patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville, Tennessee.