What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
Treating cavities and other kinds of tooth damage as soon as possible can often minimize the need for more involved or extensive procedures. Teeth that are decayed or broken may not quite need the full coverage of a dental crown but are damaged beyond what a simple filling can restore. Dental inlays and onlays are restorations our dentist uses to treat and bring health back to teeth requiring this "in-between" type of care and conserve natural tooth structure.
Crafted in a range of materials, inlays and onlays may be created in a direct (within the mouth) or indirect (outside of the mouth) method to rebuild and strengthen teeth to their original form and function. Each inlay or onlay is customized by our dentist to meet the individual needs of patients and may be fabricated from porcelain, composite resin, or metal materials (like gold). Inlays fit within the center area of a tooth while onlays cover the center along with one or more tooth cusps. A visit with our dentist at Made Ya Smile in Katy, TX can help you learn if an inlay or onlay is a good choice for your restorative treatment needs.
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Who Is a Candidate for Inlays and Onlays?
When when you have a molar or premolar tooth that needs treatment beyond what a simple filling can provide but not the complete protection of a crown, an inlay or onlay from our skilled dentist may be the perfect solution. Inlays and onlays (also known as partial crowns), strengthen and rebuild teeth affected by decay, fractures, or other types of damage and are no longer supporting your oral health. These direct and indirect restorations are custom-made to fit within your treated tooth and blend evenly with the surrounding tooth structure for a comfortable feel and natural look. Our dentist will assess your treatment needs through a clinical evaluation and a digital x-ray taken of the tooth. Once we have this information, our team can review your treatment options and materials from which your restoration can be made and guide you in making an informed choice for restoring your oral health.
What Can I Expect With Dental Inlays and Onlays?
At Made Ya Smile, our team is pleased to offer a wide range of cosmetic and restorative options to help you and your family enjoy beautiful and healthy smiles. You can feel confident in knowing that your comfort will always be our priority. Sedation dentistry services are available and can be combined with your procedure to allow for a relaxing and positive experience. Before treating your tooth, our team will numb the area to prevent any discomfort. Our dentist will then use advanced dental tools to clear out decayed or damaged tooth structure. Inlays and onlays made of composite (tooth-colored) resin are generally created within your tooth (direct restorations).
If we are using an indirect method for your restoration, we will take an impression of your prepared tooth and send this off to our dental lab, where your inlay or onlay will be created of porcelain, gold, or another high-grade material. In this case, we will temporize your tooth with a sedative filling our office receives your permanent restoration (typically around 1 – 2 weeks later). We will make sure that your treatment needs align with your cosmetic preferences and will instruct the lab to create your restoration in the material of your choice. You will return to our office when your custom dental restoration has arrived. Our dentist will remove your temporary filling and bond your new inlay or onlay permanently in place.
How Can I Care for My Inlay or Onlay?
Receiving an inlay or onlay is much like having a filling or crown placed. Using refined skill and an artistic eye, our dentist will work to ensure that your restoration is as smooth and seamless as possible to blend evenly with your surrounding tooth structure. After having your tooth initially prepared for your restoration, we suggest that you avoid eating anything you have to chew until the numbness has completely dissipated. You may notice minor sensitivity within the tooth at first but this should resolve within a few days. Inlays and onlays are created to feel like a natural part of your smile and can be treated as such when brushing and flossing each day. Our team will routinely evaluate the health of your restoration when you visit our practice for your bi-annual cleaning and exam appointments. Taking care of your mouth and your inlay or onlay as recommended can help your restoration last and support a healthy smile for many years to come.
Are Dental Inlays and Onlays Covered by Insurance?
Many dental insurance plans offer coverage towards the inlay and onlay direct and indirect restorations. Our team will review your plan and insurance benefits before beginning your treatment and calculate any potential out-of-pocket expenses. Made Ya Smile in Katy, TX accepts most major PPO dental insurance plans and is pleased to submit your claim for you. If you are not using dental insurance, be sure to ask us about our in-office dental savings plan and other convenient ways to cover the cost of your care. We are dedicated to providing the highest level of service to all patients and can assist you in finding a solution that makes your family's dental care affordable.
Natural-Looking Tooth Restorations
Treating teeth that have cavities or are broken early on brings health and vitality back to your smile and save you from greater treatment needs down the road. Inlays and onlay are a restorative and cosmetic solution that we use to treat teeth with moderate damage for which neither a filling or crown are appropriate. Our dentist may recommend either a direct or indirect method for creating these restorations to provide the most conservative approach possible when restoring function, strengthen, and appearance to a damaged tooth. To learn if an inlay or onlay is an ideal choice for your needs, contact Made Ya Smile in Katy, TX for your restorative appointment.