Inlays and Onlays Portland, OR
When a patient has a cavity that is too large for a traditional filling, there are two restorative options, dental crowns, and indirect fillings. Dental crowns cover the entire surface of the tooth and require a complete reshaping of the enamel. Indirect fillings, also known as inlays and onlays, only cover a portion of the tooth and keep more of your enamel intact.
Indirect fillings cover the bite or occlusal surface of a tooth. We call restorations that fit within the center of a tooth, an “inlay,” and restorations that extend over one or more cusps, an “onlay.” At Downtown Dental Care, we offer indirect fillings as a conservative alternative to dental crowns.
The Inlay and Onlay Procedure
The procedure for an inlay or onlay is usually completed in two appointments.
During your first appointment, Dr. Christianson will prepare the damaged tooth. A local anesthetic will be administered to numb the area before we remove the decayed material. Once the tooth is prepared, we will take an impression and send it to a dental laboratory, where they will fabricate your final restoration. To prevent further decay, we may apply a temporary filling while you wait.
During your second appointment, we remove your temporary filling and place your final restoration. Dr. Christianson will check the margins to make sure there is a smooth fit. We do not want to cause any problems for your bite or surrounding teeth. The inlay or onlay is then bonded to the tooth using a strong cementing agent.
Inlays and onlays can be made from several types of material. If aesthetics are not an issue, we may suggest gold. These days, patients tend to choose porcelain or a porcelain composite. Porcelain offers the best in aesthetics and is often used for visible teeth.
The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
There are some benefits to a conservative approach:
When a tooth with a large cavity still has the strength to support your bite force, an indirect filling may be the best treatment option. For some patients, the structural damage may be too great, and a crown is the only option. Talk with Dr. Christianson to see if you could benefit from an inlay or onlay.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
If you are in need of restorative treatment, call (503) 420-7600 to schedule your appointment today!