Dental Inlays and Onlays

Drs. Joe McIntyreDan Whiting, and Kelsey Rockey offer dental inlays and onlays at our office in Bridgewater, VA, to restore molars that need more support than a filling can provide, but do not necessarily need a dental crown. An inlay is used to restore the chewing surface of the tooth, while an onlay replaces the chewing surface as well as one or more of the cusps, or corners of the chewing surface. Our experienced Smiles for Life team is committed to providing top quality care, and we always use the most conservative means possible when it comes to improving your dental health. 

About Inlays and Onlays

Like crowns, inlays and onlays are made of porcelain. However, instead of being designed to cover the entire tooth, these restorations are crafted to replace a precise portion of the tooth, much like a puzzle piece. Many patients choose to have amalgam fillings replaced with inlays and onlays because they provide a far more aesthetically pleasing result.

inlay vs onlay vs crown

Inlays and onlays are a conservative treatment that only replaces decayed tissue.

How Are Inlays and Onlays Applied?

Placing inlays and onlays typically only requires two appointments. During your first visit, your dentist will first numb the tooth and surrounding area with local anesthetic. If you feel anxious when undergoing dental care, or if you suffer from arthritis or another condition that makes it difficult to sit for long periods, we can also provide sedation to help you achieve a state of deep relaxation during treatment. We encourage you to be frank with us during your consultation regarding any concerns you have, and we will do everything we can to make sure you feel comfortable during all treatments.

After the tooth has been fully prepared, your doctor will take an impression of your smile, which will be used to design your custom restoration piece. We will send the impression to our lab where highly trained technicians will customize your inlay or onlay. In the meantime, a temporary sealant will be used to protect the tooth.

During a follow-up appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary sealant and make sure the inlay or onlay properly fits properly. Before securing it permanently into place, your dentist can make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your jaws meet comfortably.

We encourage you to be frank with us during your consultation regarding any concerns you have, and we will do everything we can to make sure you feel comfortable during all treatments.

Maintaining Your Restoration

Although inlays and onlays are designed for strength and durability, you must take good care of your restoration to ensure long-lasting results. You can do this by implementing just a few simple steps:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a professional cleaning
  • Avoid chewing on ice, hard candies, or other hard objects

Schedule Your Consultation

At Smiles for Life, our dedicated team will always go the extra mile to ensure your comfort and convenience. If you have minor to moderate dental damage due to decay, infection, or injury, you may benefit from an inlay or onlay. Contact us online today or call (540) 828-2312 to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced doctors.