Inlays and Onlays
West 10th Dental provides inlays and onlays in New York, NY. Call 212-982-5883 to learn more and schedule your appointment.
Most of our patients are familiar with crowns and fillings, but less familiar with inlays and onlays. These restorations are used whenever damage or decay on a tooth is too extensive to repair with a dental filling, but not enough to merit removing most of the tooth structure and replacing it with a crown. Similar to crowns, inlays and onlays are fabricated in a dental laboratory, then cemented or bonded to your tooth. Onlays cover most of the chewing surface of the tooth, including the cusps, while inlays fit in the center of the tooth, in between the cusps.
Inlays and onlays are durable, long-lasting dental restorations that stand the test of time. Patients rarely need to replace them and most inlays and onlays can be expected to last for about 30 years.
What to Expect When Getting an Inlay or Onlay
You’ll need to come in to our office twice if you need an inlay or onlay since they are made by a dental technician in a laboratory. During the first appointment, we use a drill to remove all of the decay and damage from the structure of your tooth. Before we start, we’ll give you a local anesthetic injection to make sure you’re comfortable while we work.
After all of the damaged portions of the tooth structure have been removed, we take impressions. These impressions are then sent to the dental laboratory to be used in the fabrication of your custom inlay or onlay. Impressions are used to ensure that your restoration fits securely onto your prepared tooth and that it interacts correctly with your other teeth when you bite and chew. While you wait for your restoration to be fabricated, we’ll provide you with a temporary restoration that protects your tooth until your permanent inlay or onlay is ready for placement.
Inlays and onlays were traditionally made with cast gold alloys, but now we can also provide tooth-colored ceramic and porcelain options that can restore the function and the appearance of damaged teeth. While each of the possible materials is durable and will last for many years, gold alloys are the strongest option. If you need an inlay or onlay on a molar in the back of the mouth, gold may be the best solution.
Once we receive your restoration from the dental laboratory, you’ll come in for a second visit to have it cemented or bonded to your prepared tooth. Before doing that, we’ll put the inlay or onlay on your tooth to make sure it feels comfortable and that your teeth fit together property with it in place. The next step is applying dental cement or bonding agent and affixing your restoration to the tooth, then curing it with a special light. Before you leave, we polish the tooth to make sure any excess cement or bonding material is removed and that your restored tooth looks and feels natural.
Caring for Your Inlays and Onlays
Similar to crowns and fillings, inlays and onlays do not require any special care once they’re in place. Brush your teeth for two minutes, twice a day, and floss at least once a day. Be diligent about seeing your dentist every six months for cleanings and exams. During these exams, we’ll assess your inlay or onlay and ensure that it is secure and doesn’t need to be replaced.
Call 212-982-5883 to schedule your appointment.