For patients in Houston, inlays, onlays, and dental crowns may be used in the treatment of tooth decay. Inlays and onlays are traditionally used in the treatment of rear teeth that have been damaged by decay. Rear teeth that have suffered too much damage for a traditional filling, but have not yet suffered enough damage to necessitate a dental crown, may benefit from inlays or onlays. Because inlays and onlays are made out of tooth-colored material, once placed they become virtually undetectable. Aesthetically pleasing and long lasting, inlays and onlays can effectively restore the health and function of the teeth, while also blending in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. Our Houston cosmetic dentistry practice uses CEREC® technology to create custom restorations, such as inlays and onlays, in a single dental visit. To learn more about the CEREC® system, please contact cosmetic dentist Charles E. Sutherland today.

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are tooth-colored dental restorations, usually made out of resin materials or porcelain, used to restore rear teeth that have mild to moderate decay. Inlays and onlays are incredibly strong and long-lasting dental restorations. Inlays and onlays may also reduce tooth sensitivity and prevent the loss of a damaged tooth due to decay. One of these restorations is a good choice when the remaining structure of the damaged tooth is in good condition. When damage is between two teeth, an inlay may be recommended. Damage and decay lying within the indented top surfaces of teeth, within the cusps, are treated with inlays. Damage or decay extending to one or more of the cusps of the teeth is treated with onlays.

Inlays and onlays may be used to repair rear teeth with mild to moderate decay, repair chips and cracks in teeth that are not damaged enough to need dental crowns, and to replace amalgam (metal) fillings.

Inlays and Onlays Treatment

During the inlays and onlays treatment, an impression of the decayed tooth is made. Traditionally, a temporary inlay or onlay is then placed over the tooth, but with CEREC®, this is not necessary. If CEREC® is not being used, the impression will be taken to a dental laboratory where a dental will make an inlay or onlay to your tooth’s specifications. When you return to our Houston dental office, we will remove the temporary inlay or onlay, and securely place the permanent inlay or onlay onto the tooth. When using CEREC®, we can custom-design, manufacture, and place an inlay or onlay during your dental visit.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns may be used when teeth are too damaged for inlays and onlays. Dental crowns are “caps” that are placed over the visible portion of a tooth, including below and at the gum line, to restore its appearance, shape, size, and strength. These caps provide protection and restore strength to damaged teeth. For our patients in Houston, dental crowns may be used in the reinforcement of teeth that are weakened from decay and teeth that have cracks or chips. An added benefit of dental crowns is that they may be used in the preservation of the otherwise healthy tooth structures within damaged or decayed teeth.

Schedule an Appointment Today

To learn more about the inlays and onlays treatment, please contact Charles E. Sutherland, DDS, PA today.