What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are single-tooth restorations that are designed to renew the appearance and strength of weakened teeth. These versatile restorations can be used to repair minor damage, replace a large dental filling that has failed, or reinforce a tooth after the removal of a large amount of decay.
An inlay repairs the biting surface of a tooth, which is between the elevated cusps. Conversely, an onlay is more extensive and extends over one or more cusps and down the sides of a tooth. Each of these restorations is less invasive than a dental crown, which covers the entire visible surfaces of a tooth. Inlays and onlays require slightly more tooth preparation than that of a filling, but dramatically less than what is required for a crown.
In order to make this process more convenient, Dr. Whiteman uses advanced technology to create beautiful inlays and onlays here at our practice.
Creating Your Inlay or Onlay
At many other practices, inlays and onlays are planned using traditional dental impressions. The impressions are then sent to an off-site lab, and it can take several weeks for the inlay or onlay to be completed. In order to make this process more convenient, Dr. Whiteman uses advanced technology to create beautiful inlays and onlays here at our practice. When you arrive for your inlay or onlay appointment, we will first clean your tooth and treat any decay before carefully removing a small amount of enamel to create room for your restoration. Dr. Whiteman will work very conservatively to preserve as much of your tooth's structure as possible.
Once your tooth has been properly prepared, we will use an innovative digital scanner to take impressions of it. The images will then be uploaded to our in-office CEREC® (chairside economical restoration of esthetic ceramics) machine, which is a computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) device that functions very much like a 3-D printer. After selecting a color of material based on the shade of your smile, the CEREC® machine will craft your inlay or onlay from a solid block of ceramic. Once the inlay or onlay is ready, we will ensure a proper fit and appearance before bonding it securely in place. Thanks to this innovative approach, an entire inlay or onlay procedure can often be completed during a single visit.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Dr. Whiteman and his friendly staff are here to provide the patient-oriented care you deserve. To learn more about the benefits of using CEREC® technology to craft your inlay or onlay, get in touch with a member of our team today.