Porcelain Onlays

Small cavities can typically be addressed with a dental filling. But when you have a damaged tooth or larger cavity, you may need a dental inlay or onlay. At Plancich Dental, we are experts in restorative dentistry and will help you get your smile back!

What are onlays?

Dental onlays are used in restorative dental procedures for tooth decay or damage. If you have a larger cavity, or your tooth structure is weakened and may crack if a dental filling is used, an onlay might be the right choice for you.

Onlays are larger than fillings, and may be used as an alternative to a dental crown. They typically fit inside the tooth, but also extend over the chewing surface to replace one or more cusps. Onlays also require a smaller portion of the tooth to be removed than a crown, leaving more of the healthy, natural tooth in place.

Onlays have traditionally been made of gold. More recently, porcelain onlays have become more popular because they can match the surface of the tooth better than gold.

What are inlays?

Dental inlays are similar to onlays, in that they are used for larger cavities that are too big for a filling. But they are smaller, and are placed between the cusps of teeth, instead of over them. 

Porcelain inlays are popular because they can be nearly invisible, but inlays can also be made of composite material.

How does it work?

We offer the inlay and onlay procedure right here in our dental practice. Inlays and Onlays are created in a laboratory, so the procedure can take two appointments.

During the first appointment, we will use a local anesthetic to make sure you are comfortable. We start by removing the portion of the tooth that is damaged, leaving as much of the natural tooth as possible. We take an impression of your tooth and send it to the lab so they can create your permanent onlay or inlay. In the meantime, we apply a temporary onlay or inlay to protect your tooth.

At your second appointment, we will remove the temporary onlay or inlay and apply the permanent one. We check the biting surface and fit to make sure that your new dental restoration will be comfortable and functional. Then, we permanently attach it with a resin material, and polish it smooth.

After your procedure, you will want to practice good oral health care to make sure your restoration lasts.

Who is it for?

Dental onlays and inlays are a good treatment option for patients who have a damaged tooth that cannot be fixed with a filling, especially if cusps of the tooth are damaged or missing. Larger cavities or more extensive tooth decay can be addressed with inlays and onlays, as long as enough of the natural tooth is still healthy enough to support it. If not, you might need a crown, partial crown or a cap. 

How to start?

If you have a damaged tooth,we can help you decide what the best treatment options are for you. Whether it’s a dental filling, a crown, onlay or inlay, you can rest easy knowing that your dental care is in good hands at Plancich Dental. Call us today to make an appointment!

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Our dental offices are located in Old Town Tacoma and Lakewood, WA.

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