Sometimes a tooth has sustained enough damage from decay or injury that a simple filling is not sufficient to restore the shape and function of the tooth, but a full dental crown is more than is required. That is where porcelain inlays and onlays come in! At Shadowridge Dental Group, we offer patients in the San Marcos, Oceanside, Carlsbad, Escondido, Encinitas, and neighboring CA areas this custom-made, versatile treatment that helps your tooth look, feel, and function like a natural tooth again.
Porcelain inlays and onlays explained
Porcelain inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are fabricated in a dental laboratory to our precise specifications based on impressions of your mouth. Whereas a dental crown covers an entire tooth and requires a significant amount of tooth structure to be removed, an inlay or onlay covers a smaller area on the biting surface of the tooth and is a more conservative approach to treating a tooth that has too much decay or damage for a filling. In addition, porcelain inlays and onlays:
- Look and feel like natural teeth, with the same color and luster of tooth enamel
- Are more durable than the composite resin that is used for tooth-colored fillings, making them a good choice for areas that are more susceptible to grinding and wear and tear (such as the tooth cusps)
- Help hold a damaged tooth together and provide long-lasting results with good home care
What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?
The main difference between inlays and onlays is how much of the tooth they cover.
- Inlays cover only the space between the cusps (bumps) on the tooth
- Onlays cover one or more cusps and often extend over the whole biting surface of the tooth
Getting a porcelain inlay or onlay placed
The process for getting a porcelain inlay or onlay typically takes two visits. In your first visit, any decayed portions of the tooth will be gently removed and the dentist will sanitize the area from any lingering bacteria. Then, we will take dental impressions and place a temporary filling. The dental laboratory will custom-fabricate your inlay or onlay, and when it is ready, you will come back in to the office and our dentist will bond it on to your tooth with a strong dental cement.
To schedule your appointment at Shadowridge Dental Group, call us at (760) 284-8111 today!