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Inlays and Onlays



Woman smiling with perfect teethDo you ever open your mouth and look inside? We mean to have a really good look. It’s possible that if you opened up your mouth and took a good look inside, there might be things in your mouth you don’t like. When you look in your mouth, you might see that filling from the 1970s you got when you were a kid. You won that filling fair and square, after betting your little brother you could go a year without brushing your teeth. Now that bet probably doesn’t feel like it was worth it since you now have a big ugly silver filling in the back of your mouth.

You may have noticed there’s a hole appearing on one side of that filling. You may need to come to see us and get an inlay or an onlay. If you’re not sure what that is, let Bryan Hill, DDS tell you more about these wonderful tooth savers.

What Are Inlays?


In the past, we used inlays to fix holes in your molars that were there because of tooth decay. The dentist would drill a hole in your tooth to get the cavity, and then replace the cavity with gold. Gold became a status symbol for many people, but it is also a weak metal that doesn’t help the biting surface of your molar.

Now we make inlays of porcelain or a composite material that resembles the color of your actual tooth. Inlays can be bonded to the tooth surface, to make the biting surface of your molar stronger. The look is also more pleasing cosmetically. Inlays allow us to make your tooth stronger against cavities, which means we can keep your tooth healthy and intact, which is always our goal.

What Are Onlays?


Onlays are a little different than inlays. Both inlays and onlays for molars, but onlays can be used to repair the cusp of a molar’s biting surface. Onlays can be made of porcelain or composite, but we prefer porcelain because it is stronger. Like inlays, we bond onlays straight to your molar, which makes the tooth stronger than with a filling alone. Onlays can be crafted to repair one cusp of your molar or more than one cusp.

Sometimes, we can use an inlay or onlay instead of a crown, depending on your tooth. We can help you decide whether inlays or onlays are best for your tooth, as well as your overall mouth health. If your molar is not severely damaged or weakened from cavities, chips or fractures, you may be able to use an inlay or an onlay instead of a crown.

We won’t know which type of repair job you need, an inlay, an onlay, or a crown, until we see your tooth. The sooner you come in to see us, the better we will be able to tell you what you need. Are you interested in fixing that pesky molar in the back? If you are interested in getting an inlay or an onlay, why not reach out to us? Bryan Hill, DDS are here to help. Call us today at (509) 505-6303 .
Bryan Hill, DDS
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