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Dental inlays and onlays

Inlays and onlays are like the deluxe version of fillings. They can correct badly decayed teeth, though they require time to prepare.

Questions to ask your doctor: Should I get an inlay, an onlay or a filling? Will you have to remove part of my tooth to apply the inlay or onlay?

Pre-procedure prep for dental inlays and onlays: No special preparation is necessary for an inlay or onlay

On the day of treatment: Simply arrive on time with clean teeth.

What To Expect

Getting inlays and onlays requires two visits to the dentist. In the first visit, the dentist will determine whether an inlay or onlay is the best solution, or whether a filling or crown would be better-suited for fixing the tooth or teeth in question.

Assuming an inlay or onlay is selected, the next step is to choose the material. Gold, the most durable, is usually used for back teeth. Porcelain, because it most closely matches the shade of teeth, is generally used from visible teeth in the front. If cost is a consideration, resin, the least expensive (and least durable) material may be chosen. A mold is taken of the teeth and a temporary sealant is placed on the decayed areas.

During the next visit, the inlays and onlays are firmly bonded into the teeth if the fit is good.

Who should do it: Only dentists can perform the procedure.

Duration: Each visit takes one to two hours depending on the number of teeth to be treated and the procedure performed. (Onlays take a bit longer than inlays.)

How Painful Is It?

Local anesthesia is used during the procedure, which is usually not particularly uncomfortable.

Options for anesthesia: Local anesthesia will be used during the procedure.

Find experts who offer dental inlays and onlays near you