Inlays & Onlays
For years, patients relied on fillings to repair minor decay or damage and dental crowns to restore more significantly damaged teeth, but what about those patients who need something between the two options? In the past, those patients with decay or damage too severe to be repaired using composite resin or amalgam filling materials had to remove a significant amount of healthy tooth structure in order to receive a dental crown. Luckily, Houston Uptown Dentists offer a happy medium: inlays and onlays.
The biting surfaces of teeth have raised portions known as cusps. Patients who experience decay between the cusps can repair their smile with an inlay, and those who experience damage and decay that encompasses one or more cusps, will need an onlay. Inlays and onlays are also an excellent restoration option for patients who have damaged fillings that need to be replaced rather than simply covering teeth with a dental crown to provide added structure and stability.
Like fillings, inlays and onlays allow patients to preserve natural dental structure, but like dental crowns, these restorations are crafted from high quality materials in a dental lab. That means that placing inlays and onlays requires two appointments. During the first visit, the decayed or damaged dental structure or previous restorations are removed in preparation for the inlay or onlay. We then take dental impressions that will be used by our trusted lab to craft a custom restoration. While their inlay or onlay is crafted, patients wear a temporary restoration. Once the custom inlay or onlay is returned to our Houston practice, patients return to have their final restoration placed allowing them to experience healthier smiles for years to come.