What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
Dental inlays and onlays are restorations classified between a regular filling and a full dental crown and are used to treat damaged or decayed teeth. Placed on the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, inlays fit within the concave center portion of a tooth while onlays (also called partial crowns) cover the center area plus one or more of the rounded, upper edges (cusps). Like dental crowns, inlays and onlays can be made in a variety of materials, including porcelain, tooth-colored composite resin, and metal. Our experienced general dentists can help Plymouth and Kingston, MA patients understand the difference between fillings, crowns, onlays, and inlays and determine the best approach to meet their oral health needs.
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Ideal Candidates for Inlays and Onlays
Patients of all ages may be candidates for dental inalys or onlays, though these restorations are generally recommended for permanent premolar and molar teeth. A dental inlay or onlay may be an ideal treatment option to repair a broken tooth or treat tooth decay that is too large for a simple filling but does not need the full coverage of a crown. During your visit, our dentists will examine your tooth and evaluate your x-rays before recommending an ideal procedure to restore your oral health. If an onlay or inlay is chosen, we will explain the available materials that will best fit your needs.
The Treatment Process
While standard fillings are placed through a direct process (within the mouth), inlays and onlays are often fabricated indirectly by a dental lab and then bonded to the tooth. After numbing the treatment area, our dentists will remove decayed or damaged tooth structure. Once the tooth is cleaned and prepared, an impression will be taken for our lab to use when making your inlay or onlay. A temporary filling will be placed until your final restoration is ready. We will have you return for a short visit a few weeks later so that our dentists can cement your restoration in place. The edges will be polished or adjusted as needed for a smooth fit and comfortable biting surface.
Caring for your Restoration
Following your inlay or onlay procedure, your tooth may feel slightly sensitive but this should subside within a few days. Please contact Plymouth Dental Group if you have any concerns after your treatment. Your inlay or onlay can be cared for like your natural teeth with daily flossing and brushing. We also encourage to you attend routine dental cleanings and exams at our practice so our dentists can assess the health and wear of the restoration. With proper maintenance, your inlay or onlay can bring a long-lasting solution to your oral health.
Does Insurance Cover Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are a common treatment for tooth decay and other damage and are often covered in part by dental insurance. We will contact your insurer to review your plan and help you get the most from your coverage. To help patients cover any out-of-pocket costs, Plymouth Dental Group accepts an array of flexible payment solutions, including low-interest financing plans.
Restore Function to Your Smile
Inlays and onlays are often a viable solution for Plymouth and Kingston, PA patients suffering from broken teeth or tooth decay. Find out more about inlays and onlays to repair your teeth by making an appointment with our dentists today. We can help revive your smile, function, and oral health from the comfort of our state-of-the-art Plymouth, MA practice.