Dental Inlays and Onlays
Post Falls, ID
We can restore a tooth with a dental inlay or onlay that is customized for your tooth. Unlike composite or amalgam fillings, an inlay and an onlay are customized outside of your mouth with the help of impressions and then cemented into place already hardened. This is ideal for teeth that are being restored from large cavities and fractures. Our team at Woodland Family Dental PC, guided by Dr. David Welton or Dr. Sunnshine Welton can help you achieve a healthy smile that is both functional and beautiful.
What is an inlay and an onlay?
An inlay is designed to fit inside of a tooth, an onlay is designed to fit the surface of a tooth. Similar to a dental crown, an inlay and an onlay are designed to cap a tooth, providing it extra strength and restoring its shape and size. Unlike crowns, inlays and onlays do not cover or encase the entire tooth, only the top portion that needs protection. In most cases, your inlay or onlay restoration is made from gold or porcelain, for specific situations, it can also be made from cured composite filling. The purpose of the restoration is to build up a tooth, provide it additional strength, and restore the tooths function.
Why should I have my tooth restored with an inlay or onlay instead of a filling material?
Filling materials, such as composite or amalgam are great for small repairs. It is not recommended for larger repairs. This is because, there is always a margin of shrinkage as the filling material cures. When this happens it allows for miniscule spaces for bacteria to rest and then travel to the inner portion of a tooth. Large cavities, even those taken care of by a dentist, are prime locations for future root canal therapy procedures. The creation of an inlay or an onlay takes away that margin of space, keeping bacteria out.
Inlay and Onlay Procedure
The process for having an inlay or an onlay restoration begins with restoring the tooth back to health. We will provide the patient with a local anesthetic to remove any bacteria, debris, or decay from the tooth. We will review what you are seeking, and make suggestions of the best material options based on the placement of the tooth and your affordability. We will then take an impression or mold of the tooth, which will be sent to a dental lab for fabrication of your customized item. Before you leave this first appointment, we will cover the area with a temporary filling.
Once the inlay or onlay is ready, we will have you come back in for placement. The temporary filling is removed, the area is cleaned once again, and the inlay or onlay is checked for proper fitting. Dr. David Welton or Dr. Sunnshine Welton will be able to make any necessary adjustments as needed to ensure a proper bite. Once the area is prepared, we will cement the inlay or onlay into place and cure the cement with a specialized blue light to help the bond harden. Your new restoration will be strong, and should last you several years.