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Inlays & Onlays

What are dental inlays/ onlays?

An onlay is a restoration that is made to restore only the parts of a tooth and filling that have failed, while maintaining the remaining tooth structure that is sound. Onlays have been done for many years, but they have recently been recommended more often. 
Some patients like to think of onlay as creating a puzzle piece that slides into the parts of the tooth that has failed. When possible we like using them because they require less tooth to be involved with the preparation, thus making them more conservative. What are the reasons for dental onlays? As with crowns there are many of the same reasons why a tooth might be diagnosed to have an onlay done:
  1. Fractured or broken tooth.
  2. Tooth has existing large filling with decay and/or marginal breakdown of old filling material.
  3. Improve the aesthetics

Treatment of Cracked Teeth

  1. Simple Crack: The majority of cracked teeth (about 9 out of 10) can be treated by placement of a simple crown (cap) on the tooth. When the tooth is prepared for a crown and a temporary crown is placed, the pain usually leaves. If this is the case with your tooth, we will place the final crown on your next appointment. The condition should then be resolved.
  2. Complex Crack: Occasionally, (about 1 in 10) the tooth cracks into the pulp (nerve) of the tooth. If pain persists after placement of the temporary crown, you may have a crack into the pulp. Please call us. This tooth may require endodontics (root canal therapy) before the crown is placed. This procedure requires about two additional appointments before the crown is placed. For more information on Root Canal Therapy please click here.