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Inlays and Onlays

young girl smilingWe hate doing crowns on your teeth!  Crowns grind away most of your natural tooth leaving only a small nub of a tooth.  Why grind away your perfectly healthy tooth when something much more conservative will work great? Even when more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged Dr. Shoup will often use an inlay or onlay to restore your tooth.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin (tooth colored material). These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth.

An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.

How are inlays and onlays applied?

Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay.

To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made by Dr. Shoup, and sent to a lab for fabrication. Dr. Shoup will then apply a temporary restoaration on the tooth and send the impression to the lab.  We will then contact you when your inlay/onlay is back from the lab for cementation.