Classified between a tooth-colored filling and a crown, an inlay or onlay can treat a decayed or damaged tooth. Used on pre-molars and molars, a dental inlay covers the concave center of a tooth while an onlay covers the tooth's rounded, upper edges. Like fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays can be made with different materials — porcelain, composite resin, and metal. Dr. Kenneth Ingber and his experienced dental team can help Washington, D.C. patients better understand crowns, fillings, inlays, and onlays so they can make the best choice about how to treat their tooth at Ingber Dental.
An inlay or onlay is a good choice if you have a cracked tooth or a large cavity that is too big to get filled but does not need the complete coverage of a crown. During your exam, we may use your digital x-rays to pick the best method for your tooth. If an inlay or onlay is selected, we will discuss the available materials that will best fit your requirements. You might also discuss whether you would prefer a direct restoration (an inlay or onlay made at our office with CEREC technology while you wait) or an indirect restoration made at a dental laboratory.
What To Expect
After applying a numbing cream to the treatment area, the procedure will start by removing areas of decay. Stronger methods of sedation can be used if you have anxiety or a strong gag reflex. Once the tooth is cleaned, impressions will be made of the tooth. If you are receiving an inlay or onlay made in a dental lab, a temporary filling will be placed until it is prepared. Once your inlay or onlay is ready, it will be carefully placed and bonded onto your tooth. The edges may be polished or the fit may be adjusted so your tooth is properly covered and feels comfortable.
If only local anesthesia was used, you can leave after the procedure and return to your normal day. You may feel some discomfort, inflammation, or sensitivity for a couple of days after your inlay or onlay is placed. Please contact Ingber Dental should you have any concerns after your procedure. Your inlay or onlay can be cared for, like your natural teeth, with daily brushing and flossing. You should schedule annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings at Ingber Dental so the health and wear of your inlay or onlay can be assessed. With appropriate care, it should last for many years before replacing or repairing.
Inlays and onlays are a common treatment for dental decay and other issues so they're usually covered by dental insurance. A team member will contact your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage before calculating your out-of-pocket costs. Your treatment can be customized with different materials to go with your budget. At your consultation, we will go over cost estimates and payment types we accept, including medical financing.
Inlays and Onlays
Whether you pick an inlay or onlay, porcelain or metal, direct or indirect, it is important to deal with a decayed or damaged tooth before it becomes a painful and expensive problem. Learn more about inlays and onlays to restore your teeth by scheduling a consultation at Ingber Dental in Washington, D.C. We will help improve your smile with the best treatment for your needs.