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What are Inlays and Onlays?

What are Inlays and Onlays?

Are you looking for a cosmetic dental procedure that will help treat a cracked, crooked, or damaged tooth? Did you know there are other options besides crowns or implants, which can sometimes be too intensive and expensive to justify their use for a minor issue? This is where inlays and onlays come in. 

Our office, Downtown Dental Studios, provides many cosmetic dental treatments, including inlays and onlays. Our three providers — Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD, — offer myriad options for your treatment to ensure you get the best care for your unique situation. 

Inlays and onlays 101 

Many people have never heard of inlays and onlays, so we won’t be surprised if you haven’t either. These treatments are helpful for very specific issues, such as when a tooth is cracked or decayed to the point where a regular filling won’t do and another, more intensive procedure is too much. 

Inlays and onlays are two different types of treatment, though they start very similarly. They are both used in a case when a tooth requires more than a filling but less than a crown or implant. They are made of porcelain, ceramic, and even gold. The procedure is called an inlay if the bonding occurs in the center of the tooth and an onlay if it also covers the tooth’s biting surface. 

Step-by-step inlay/onlay treatment 

The procedure itself is straightforward. If you think you need to have an inlay or an onlay performed, it’s best to reach out to us. As stated by the American College of Prosthodontists, it can be challenging to determine whether or not this treatment is best without a professional’s opinion. 

Once this procedure has been chosen, you will arrive at our office and receive a local anesthetic. A clear shield is placed over your eyes to avoid anything from irritating them. A drill and a file are then used to remove damaged bits from the tooth and smooth down its surface. 

Then a mold is made and used to create either an inlay or an onlay that will specifically fit your tooth. This often takes some time, so a temporary inlay or onlay will be put into place for a short duration. 

When you return for your final appointment in a few weeks, the final version will be placed with permanent cement, smoothed, and polished. We will ensure your bite is comfortable and there are no rough edges before sending you on your way. 

Benefits of inlays and onlays 

First off, these procedures are usually cheaper than some cosmetic treatments — especially those where the entire tooth must be replaced. In addition, inlays and onlays are often fashioned to look just like your real teeth, making them comfortable and likely to provide you with confidence. 

In addition, inlays and onlays are long-lasting and effective. A 2018 study that accounted for over 2,849 papers on the subject found inlays and onlays to show about a 90% survival rate after five years. 

Finally, inlays and onlays are a reasonably pain-free procedure with few serious risks or complications. They are extremely personalizable procedures that provide you with an aesthetically pleasing smile and a healthy mouth after the result of tooth damage or decay. 

Get your inlay or onlay today

We believe inlays and onlays are excellent cosmetic procedures that provide little risk and high rewards. If you want to learn more, call 212-964-3337 or make an appointment at your convenience online

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