Dental inlays and onlays are conservative dental restorations that Dr. Amy Marckese uses at her Indianapolis dentist office. DentalSpa uses high-quality porcelain material. This is one of the strongest, most durable treatment options available today for patients whose teeth have experienced excessive damage or wear.
Porcelain inlays and onlays are a type of indirect tooth filling. Whereas tooth colored resin dental fillings are applied directly to the tooth, a porcelain dental filling is fabricated in a dental laboratory, and bonded to the tooth after fabrication.
Inlays and onlays last longer than conventional fillings, and effectively strengthen both internal and external tooth structure. They ensure function and longevity while protecting against further damage and decay. They are stain resistant, realistic looking, and easy to care for and maintain
Porcelain inlays and onlays are used to restore teeth that have been affected by trauma or decay. Their purpose is to make the tooth stronger by holding it together while retaining a natural, esthetically pleasing color. They are used in instances when there is deficient tooth structure to support a filling but the tooth is still in a condition that does not require a dental crown.
Our Patients Say It Best
I had a few filings put in and generally I have a lot of anxiety at the dentist. At DentalSpa, everything from the paraffin hand dip and massage to the yummy smoothie at the end of my appointment made me feel better about being there. I had a great experience and would recommend then to anyone!
-Kate R., Indianapolis, IN
Inlay Vs. Onlay
An inlay covers the interior contours of the tooth, while an onlay covers the entire biting surface. Porcelain is a strong and durable material that will restore function to and mimic the look of natural teeth. With proper care and maintenance, porcelain inlays and onlays will have excellent longevity, ensuring that your smile will be beautiful and long-lasting.
Inlays and onlays are similar to crowns because they are made from the same material. However, they do not cover the entire surface of the tooth. A dentist molds and fits an inlay to the chewing surface of your tooth. Your dentist will take a mold of the affected tooth, and send it to a lab for fabrication. Then she will cement it onto the top of your tooth. Inlays cannot repair the cusps of teeth.
Onlays are very similar to inlays; however, they can repair the cusps of teeth. Onlays commonly repair cavities that are too big for fillings, or if your tooth is too weak for a filling. Below you can see the difference in surface area that inlays and onlays cover.
Replacing Metal Dental Fillings
If you have old amalgam (metal) dental fillings, you may choose to have them replaced by Dr. Marckese, your trusted and experienced dentist in Indianapolis, IN. Whether your motives are cosmetic or out of health or comfort concerns, metal dental fillings can be easily removed and replaced with a more esthetic tooth-colored dental filling.
In many cases, an old metal filling will be replaced with an inlay or only. For larger metal fillings, a dental crown may yield the best results. The dental crown will add stability to the tooth and conceal any discoloration that may have been caused as a result of the metal filling.
Dental Inlay and Onlay FAQs
If Dr. Markese recommends an inlay or onlay, we understand you may have many questions or concerns. We have compiled common questions our patients ask about the treatment. If you have further questions or concerns, please contact us during regular office hours.
What do I do if I have a broken or missing dental filling?
If you have lost or have a broken dental filling, do not try to reattach it. It is important to contact our office as quickly as possible. Dr. Marckese makes it a priority to treat dental emergencies as quickly as possible. Please contact our office as soon as you can to schedule emergency treatment.
How long does it take to get inlays and onlays?
Placement typically takes two visits. During the first visit, we prepare the tooth and then take detailed impressions. We may fit you with a temporary restoration while a dental lab fabricates the final product. When you return to our dentist office in Indianapolis, Dr. Marckese will check the fit, and permanently lace the new restoration.
Can inlays and onlays take the place of fillings?
Yes. In most cases, tooth decay is addressed with a dental filling. However, since the molars in the rear of the mouth must undergo greater stresses and bite forces, we may suggest a more substantial option. An inlay is placed between the cusps of the top of the teeth and an onlay is placed over the cusps.
Can onlays be used as partial crowns?
Yes. If the damage to your teeth, or the cavity, is great enough that a filling isn’t enough but a crown isn’t necessary yet, we can suggest inlays and onlays. We can then target a more specific area of the tooth that requires treatment.
How long after an inlay can I eat?
After an inlay, patients should be extremely careful for the first 48 hours. This is the period when the cement used is settling. Patients can eat soft foods during this period. Afterwards patients may begin to resume their normal diet, being cautious around the area of the inlay.
How long does an onlay take to heal?
Onlays typically takes anywhere from 4-7 days to heal. During this period patients teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold, and slightly sore. Some bleeding and gum discoloration is normal during the first few days.
How is an onlay different from a dental crown?
An onlay and a dental crown are both restorative treatments for damaged teeth, but they differ in coverage. Dental crowns encase the entire tooth, providing full protection. In contrast, an onlay covers only a portion of the tooth, preserving more natural structure. Onlays are suitable for moderate damage, offering a conservative approach compared to crowns.
Schedule an Appointment for Inlays and Onlays in Indianapolis, IN
To learn more about dental inlays and onlays or to schedule a visit with your dentist in Indianapolis, Dr. Marckese! Contact DentalSpa at 866.486.0230 or schedule an appointment online today.