Dental inlays and onlays provide a unique approach when it comes to repairing teeth that need more than a filling, but don’t quite need the extensive coverage of a full crown. Instead, inlays and onlays (also called “three-quarter crowns”) can restore badly damaged teeth while also enforcing the integrity of the remaining tooth structure so that it can function normally.
In the past, inlays and onlays were typically made of gold. Now they are also available in porcelain, which allows them to match the rest of the tooth’s color and make the tooth appear whole once again. Unlike crowns, inlays and onlays have margins that are flush with the surrounding tooth structure, making them easier to clean around.
The inlay and onlay treatment process is very similar to that used for a crown. During the first appointment the tooth is prepped and any damaged enamel is removed. An impression is then taken of the tooth and sent to the laboratory where the custom, hand-made restoration is created. A temporary restoration is placed in or over the tooth for about two weeks as this is completed. The patient then returns to have their custom inlay or onlay permanently bonded into place. Each restoration lasts for several years, the way a filling or crown would.
Not everyone is a candidate for inlays and onlays, but it’s an excellent option to ask your dentist about if you already know that a filling isn’t an option. Your dentist will assess the tooth’s shape, areas that are compromised, and determine whether or not an inlay or onlay is an option for you. If you’re trying to avoid a crown, don’t put your treatment off any longer – ask your dentist about inlays and onlays today!
Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
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