When rear teeth are too decayed to be successfully treated with a filling but are still healthy enough to avoid a dental crown, an inlay or onlay is an ideal treatment. At our Philadelphia cosmetic dentistry practice, Dr. Bruce Wilderman is skilled in providing a wide range of cosmetic and restorative dental procedures. With an inlay or onlay, we can repair tooth damage caused by mild to moderate decay with results that can last up to thirty years.
What are Inlays?
When a rear tooth is affected by mild to moderate amounts of decay, an inlay may be used to restore the surface of the tooth and prevent further damage. Inlays are designed specifically to treat decay that inhabits the indented surface of the tooth between the cusps, the top projections of a tooth. Our inlays are custom-crafted from tooth-colored porcelain for aesthetically pleasing results. In addition to its natural appearance, porcelain inlays are more durable than metal inlays or silver fillings, and provide longer-lasting results.
What are Onlays?
If decay extends to one or more of the cusps of the tooth, an onlay is an ideal way to treat the problem. An onlay is a similar but more extensive treatment for tooth decay than an inlay, and covers more of the surface area of the tooth.
About Inlay and Onlay Uses and Procedures
Inlays and onlays are an excellent alternative to fillings and dental crowns and involve less drilling, meaning that more of the natural tooth surface can be retained. Inlays and onlays can be used to effectively repair cavities and tooth decay, particularly on the rear teeth where more chewing power is required. Inlays and onlays are made with extremely durable materials, and can last for two to three decades with proper care.
Inlay and onlay procedures are very similar, and take two visits to complete. On the first visit, Dr. Wilderman carefully removes decay from the tooth, and then uses dental putty to take an impression of the tooth, ensuring that your new inlay or onlay will fit perfectly. After the impression is complete, a temporary cover will be placed on the tooth. When you return for the final step of the procedure, your new inlay or onlay will be ready for placement Dr. Wilderman will remove the temporary material and bond the inlay or onlay to the tooth. Once in place, your restored tooth will look and feel like a natural tooth, and will provide the necessary strength and durability required from the rear teeth for chewing.
Additional Dental Treatments
Dr. Wilderman can treat all stages of tooth decay, from mild cases to more severely damaged teeth. If tooth decay has caused major structural damage to the tooth, a dental crown made from high-quality porcelain can protect the tooth and prevent its loss. We have successfully enhanced the smiles of our Philadelphia porcelain crowns patients.
Learn More about Our Practice
We’re looking forward to helping you restore the health and beauty of your smile. To schedule a consultation and learn more about inlays and onlays, please contact our Philadelphia cosmetic dentistry center.