Inlays & Onlays, Orono ME

College Avenue Dental Associates

Call us today at ☎ College Avenue Dental Associates Phone Number 207-866-5591 with questions or to make an appointment.

When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged, a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Historically, gold was the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become the standard of care due to its strength and ability to match the natural color of your teeth.

How are inlays and onlays applied?

Inlays and onlays can be completed in a single visit. During the visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, a digital impression of the tooth is made by the dentist, and fabricated chairside using Cerec. Dr. Miller will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.

Considerations for inlays and onlays

In some situations traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, which are bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent. As a result, they can last a very long time. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.