At The Grove City Center for Dentistry, we use ceramic inlays and onlays when we are trying to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible.
Dental inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach to tooth restoration than full crowns. They are used to repair teeth that have moderate to significant tooth decay, or for cracked teeth where the damage is too large to repair with a filling, but does not warrant a dental crown.
Dr. Simone and Dr. Lowe use porcelain and composite resin to create inlays and onlays.
What’s the difference between a filling vs inlay vs onlay vs crown?
We get this question a lot. While there are some similarities between fillings, inlays, onlays and crowns, there are some key factors that help us decide which treatment to use on your tooth.
A filling is the most basic dental restoration we can perform on a tooth. Once decay is found, the tooth is drilled out to get rid of the decay. Then, the open area of the tooth is filled with a composite white material.
An inlay is used when the cavity is too large for a simple filing. The inlay is fabricated as a whole piece that fits the specific shape and size of the cavity. Then, the inlay is cemented in place on the tooth.
An onlay is more than an inlay but not a crown. Like an inlay, it is fabricated as a whole piece but it also covers the tooth.
A crown is more like a replacement for a tooth, rather than just a “cover” for the tooth. After the decay is removed, a “cap,” which is the crown is placed over the entire tooth
The Inlay / Onlay Procedure at The Grove City Center for Dentistry
Typically, two visits are required for the placements of inlays and onlays at The Grove City Center for Dentistry.
During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, we will take an impression of the tooth and send it to our a lab for fabrication. Dr. Simone or Dr. Lowe will then apply a temporary filling on the tooth keep the tooth protected between visits.
At the second appointment, the temporary filling is removed. Dr. Simone or Dr. Lowe will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly and then bond it to the tooth with a resin material. We will then polish to a smooth, natural-looking finish.