Dental inlays and onlays are a customized restorative option for patients who have mild damage or decay that is too large to repair with a traditional dental filling, but not large enough to necessitate crown placement. Also known as indirect fillings, these restorations are crafted outside of your mouth using detailed impressions of your teeth. Dental inlays fit within the biting surface of your tooth between its cusps, or outer edges, while a dental onlay covers your biting surface as well as one or more cusps. At Hawaii Pacific Dental, Dr. Rohinton J. Patel can provide most dental inlays and onlays in a single dental visit using our CEREC® CAD/CAM in-office design and milling software. To learn more about dental inlays and onlays, contact our Honolulu office today.
Creating Your Dental Inlays and Onlays
Dr. Patel places dental inlays between the cusps of the tooth to restore damage caused by decay or injury. Dental onlays are slightly larger restorations that are designed to cover both the biting surface of your tooth and one or more of its cusps. Dental inlays and onlays can also be used to replace a filling that has become loosened or developed decay beneath it.
To create your inlays or onlays, Dr. Patel will first need to clean the biting surface and cusps of your decayed tooth. Once it has been fully cleaned of plaque buildup and decayed tissue, he will take detailed impressions of your remaining natural tooth. These impressions are used to create your new inlay or onlay either in our dental laboratory or in-office using our CEREC® CAD/CAM machine. Our CEREC® machine uses advanced software to create a three-dimensional image of your tooth and its planned restoration. Then, it transfers this information to a milling machine that precisely shapes your restoration from tooth-colored porcelain. These restorations can be created and placed in the space of just an hour or two while you wait.
Once your inlay or onlay has been created, Dr. Patel will place it within your tooth to ensure proper fit, then bond it in place. Whether your restorations are made in our dental laboratory or in our office, Dr. Patel will ensure they are matched in color to fit seamlessly within your surrounding natural tooth. Because they are made from a strong porcelain or resin composite, your restorations fit very snugly within your tooth and feel indistinguishable from your natural tooth.
The Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays
Dr. Patel is a strong proponent of conservative treatments whenever possible. Dental inlays and onlays are prime examples of conservative restorations that preserve more natural tooth structure than a dental crown, while still restoring functionality to your smile. The durable materials from which inlays and onlays are made allow you to bite and speak with confidence knowing your restoration is firmly in place.
To learn more about dental inlays and onlays, contact Dr. Patel today. We are excited to schedule your first appointment and begin your journey toward a healthier smile today.