In between a regular filling and a crown, a dental inlay or onlay can treat a damaged or decayed tooth. Used on molars and pre-molars, a dental inlay covers the concave center of a tooth while an onlay covers the rounded, upper edges of a tooth. Like dental fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays can be made in a variety of materials — porcelain, composite resin, and metal. Dentist Dr. Kathy Jacobsen can help Gilbert, AZ patients better understand fillings, crowns, inlays, and onlays so they can make an informed decision about how to treat their tooth at Contemporary Dentistry.
A dental inlay or onlay is a good choice if you have a damaged tooth or large cavity that is too large for a filling, but doesn't need the full coverage of a crown. During your examination, Dr. Jacobsen will use your digital x-rays to decide the best treatment your tooth. If an inlay or onlay is selected, she will go over available materials that will best suit your needs. You can also discuss whether you would prefer a direct restoration (an inlay or onlay made at our office with CEREC technology while you wait) or an indirect restoration made at a dental laboratory.
What To Expect
With local anesthesia to numb the treatment area, Dr. Jacobsen will start by removing areas of decay. Stronger methods of sedation can be used if you have anxiety or a strong gag reflex. Once the tooth is cleaned, impressions will be made of the tooth. If you are receiving an indirect restoration, a temporary filling will be placed until your inlay or onlay is ready. Once your restoration is ready, Dr. Jacobsen will carefully place and bond the inlay or onlay onto your tooth. She may polish the edges or adjust the fit so your tooth is properly covered and feels comfortable.
If only local anesthesia was used, you should be able to leave after the procedure to continue your normal day. You may have some discomfort, inflammation, or sensitivity for a few days after your inlay or onlay is placed. Please contact our office if you have any concerns after your procedure. Your dental inlay or onlay should be cleaned just like your natural teeth, with daily brushing and flossing. You should schedule annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings at Contemporary Dentistry so Dr. Jacobsen can assess the health and wear of your restoration. With proper care, your inlay or onlay should last for many years before it needs to be replaced or repaired.
Inlays and onlays are a common treatment for dental decay and other damage, so they are commonly covered by dental insurance. Our office will contact your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage before calculating your out-of-pocket costs. Dr. Jacobsen can customize your treatment with different materials to fit your budget. During your consultation, Dr. Jacobsen will go over cost estimates and payment methods we accept, including medical financing.
Plan Your Procedure
Restore with Inlays and Onlays
Whether you select an inlay or onlay, porcelain or metal, direct or indirect, it's important to treat a decayed or damaged tooth before it becomes a painful and expensive problem. Learn more about dental inlays and onlays to restore the health your teeth by scheduling a consultation at our office in Gilbert, AZ. Dr. Jacobsen and her team will help restore your smile and oral health with the best treatment for your needs.