Inlays and Onlays Overview

Have you considered the different areas of your teeth? Most patients know they have roots hidden in the gums and that the area above the gum is the crown, but there are also the “biting surfaces” that are known as the cusps. When there is damage or decay only on a cusp, it could be that inlays and onlays are the answer, rather than a filling, crown or other treatment. Robert Lowe DDS in Charlotte, NC offers patients restorative dentistry options that include inlays or onlays.

As your preferred dentist in Charlotte, Dr. Lowe is more than happy to discuss the various treatment options available to you when you require some sort of restorative treatment. Restorative work is meant to do just as it sounds – return the tooth to its fullest function possible, and eliminating any pain or discomfort when it is put to use.

Inlays and onlays are made an option when a patient is struggling with pain due to damage or decay to the biting surface of a tooth. Sometimes the area is too large for a normal filling, and yet not substantial enough to warrant the use of a full dental crown. Because inlays and onlays use bonding materials and are made to look like the original tooth, they are a good alternative to the crown.

Inlays and onlays differ only in the way they cover the tooth. Inlays fit within the cusps. In other words, they are inlaid inside of the top surface and not over the entire thing. Onlays are crafted to cover the upper portion of the tooth, even the cusps. When they are placed, you cannot distinguish the inlays and onlays from the other part of the tooth, and they look entirely natural.

They allow you to continue to use the natural tooth as you did before, and yet the risk of further decay or damage has been alleviated. As already indicated, a strong bonding agent is used to place them, and yet there must also be enough natural tooth left to support either an inlay or onlay.

Many of our patients wonder if they are just another name for a filling. To be fair, they are described by some as indirect fillings. However, it is going to be up to Dr. Lowe as to the most appropriate course of action. If the decay or damage to the tooth is extensive, it may be wiser to have a dental crown placed instead. This guarantees the long-term stability and strength of the tooth, leaving nothing up to chance.

Contact Us in Charlotte, NC

If you have additional questions about inlays and onlays, or about any of the other dental treatments mentioned here, give us a call at our Charlotte, NC office at 704-450-3321. You can also use our online contact form and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.