Conservative Inlays and Onlays Can Preserve Damaged Molars

Inlays and onlays are a conservative restorative treatment that can have important benefits for your long-term dental health. These restorations can help restore teeth with large cavities without the need for a crown. At J.D. Murray, DDS, & Associates, we offer carefully crafted restorations that will blend naturally with your teeth. When you receive inlays and onlays at our Atlanta, GA, practice, you can enjoy renewed dental function and an aesthetic smile for years to come.  

Illustration of an inlay and onlay

Is an Inlay or Onlay Right for You?

Fillings are the most common restorative treatment for cavities. However, this type of restoration may not be sufficient if you have a particularly large area of decay. If your cavity extends over more than two-thirds of your tooth, or if it has greatly weakened your tooth, you may be a candidate for an inlay or onlay.

In most cases, Dr. Murray and Dr. Alexander use inlays and onlays to treat molars damaged by cavities. An inlay or onlay will cover the chewing surfaces of a tooth to restore strength and structure. An inlay sits in between the cusps, often repairing teeth that have suffered from pit or fissure cavities. An onlay can replace one or more cusps and extend down the sides of a tooth.

If your tooth has severe damage, a dental crown may be more appropriate. Our team will carefully examine your tooth, taking x-rays, if needed. Then your dentist can determine the most suitable type of restoration for you. 

The Placement Process

If Dr. Murray or Dr. Alexander determine that you are a candidate for an inlay or onlay, we will first prep your tooth by removing all damaged tissue. As your dentist does so, he will also reshape your tooth, creating a stable foundation for your inlay or onlay. We will then take impressions of your tooth, and will send them to our partner dental lab. Technicians use the molds, as well as photos and other documentation, to craft a highly realistic restoration.

Our lab will make your inlay or onlay made from high-quality porcelain, which can be as strong as metal, and will be virtually identical to your smile. It typically takes about two weeks to receive a lab-made restoration, during which time you can wear a temporary. We may also be able to provide same-day inlays and onlays with our advanced CEREC® system. 

Inlays and onlays serve similar functions to crowns, providing significant strength to damaged teeth. However, because inlays and onlays are smaller, they require less alteration of your tooth structure.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Treatment with inlays and onlays provide multiple benefits, including the to fully restore your tooth after significant damage. During the placement process, Dr. Murray or Dr. Alexander will clean your tooth, removing all damaged tissues. They can eliminate bacteria and prevent decay from spreading farther. The prep work will also ease the discomfort caused by your cavity.

Inlays and onlays also serve similar functions to crowns, providing significant strength to damaged teeth. However, because inlays and onlays are smaller, they require less alteration of your tooth structure. In addition, with proper care, your restoration can last up to 20 years.

Strengthen Damaged Teeth

If you are suffering from dental decay, contact our office to learn which restorative treatment is right for you. We can provide high-quality, customized options to restore your smile.

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