A conservative way to restore damaged teeth with dental inlays and onlays

Following a thorough consultation using the latest diagnostics that modern dentistry has to offer, our dentists may determine that dental inlays and onlays are an appropriate way to restore a portion of a tooth with a worn or large filling or repair decay that is too extensive to be corrected with a simple filling. Yet, the damage to the tooth may not require a full-coverage dental crown. Inlays and onlays treatment also represent conservative dentistry at its finest. The damaged areas of the tooth are removed precisely. Tooth-like materials are then used to replace only the damaged areas. Such techniques conserve maximum natural tooth material. 

Dental inlays 

Inlays build up the damaged portion of your tooth. They are prepared and designed for each patient’s specifications. The highest-quality dental materials are perfectly fitted and bonded to the existing tooth structure. 

Inlays are created to fit inside the tooth on the ridged area between the cusps or points of the teeth. Inlays effectively restore the tooth by combining advanced dental materials and techniques that bond the restoration to its natural structure. The conservation of natural tooth structure generally allows for optimal function and feel and the most lifelike appearance. 

For some patients, inlays are an appropriate alternative to dental fillings. “Filling in” a larger area of damage with dental material can make the tooth vulnerable to more extensive damage.

Dental onlays

Similar to the dental inlay, the onlay fits inside of the grooved points of the tooth. Unlike the inlay process, the material used to make the onlay is applied and secured to cover at least one of the tooth’s cusps or tips. Patients with more significant needs for restorative care may be better served with onlays rather than with inlays. 

Onlays are sometimes called “partial crowns” because they represent a more conservative alternative to “full-coverage” dental crowns. These crowns are made and shaped from a dental material, such as porcelain, to fit over the tooth as a cap or crown might do over a person’s head. 

Procedures that conserve natural tooth structure are generally solid and long-lasting. Just be sure to give your treated teeth the same TLC as your unaltered teeth. Excellent oral hygiene and routine professional care help to assure that your restored teeth remain as strong and stunning as the day they were treated. We proudly serve Littleton, West Concord, Concord, Maynard, Westford, Boxborough, Stow, Harvard, Sudbury, and surrounding communities from our Acton office. Call (978) 263-3526 to schedule your appointment today.