A porcelain inlay or onlay is a custom restoration that can fix large areas of tooth decay or replace old, broken down fillings. It is bonded to your tooth to prevent further decay and strengthens the surrounding tooth structure. Giving you a completely natural look, this restoration is ideal for intermediate areas of decay or damage, when a filling is not enough but a crown is too invasive.
An inlay essentially fills the area on top of the tooth’s chewing surface, between the cusps (tiny bumps). An onlay, however, is often referred to as a partial crown because it may cover the chewing surface, the cusps, as well as the side of a tooth in some cases. During your consultation with Las Vegas family dentist Dr. Matthew Wilson, he will determine which treatment is best for you.
Advantages of Porcelain Inlays/Onlays:
- The porcelain restoration can be colored perfectly to match the existing tooth and look completely natural. They are much more aesthetically pleasing than metal or amalgam restorations.
- Done correctly, porcelain inlays/onlays feel and function just like your natural teeth.
- Porcelain inlays/onlays are stain resistant.
- The porcelain inserts are very strong and once bonded, adds significant strength to the decayed tooth.
- Porcelain inlays/onlays are very durable and made to last a long time.
- Inlays and onlays also help preserve more of your natural tooth structure, unlike a total crown that is sometimes needed when more extensive damage is present.
What is the difference between a composite filling and a porcelain inlay/onlay?
A composite filling is a direct restoration, meaning it can be done in one office visit.
Porcelain inlays/onlays are custom-made inserts that are usually placed in larger cavities and areas where there is less tooth structure. They are cemented in place to stop further decay and look like your natural teeth. Porcelain inlays/onlays are considered indirect restorations and require a special lab and experienced ceramist to create them so they can be put in during a second visit.
What to expect during your visit
During your visit for a porcelain inlay/onlay, Dr. Wilson will numb your mouth so that you remain comfortable throughout your procedure. Then, any damaged areas of the tooth are gently removed as the tooth is prepared for the new restoration.
We will take impressions of your tooth to send to our trusted dental lab where your porcelain restoration is handcrafted. It may take up to a couple of weeks for the restoration to be complete, but in the meantime, you will have a temporary filling placed inside your tooth to protect it and minimize sensitivity.
At your second appointment, Dr. Wilson will permanently bond the porcelain restoration to your tooth, providing you with beautiful, yet functional results.
Dental Care in Summerlin
For more information on dental inlays and onlays in Las Vegas, call (702) 331-4700 to schedule an appointment.
Inspire Dental of Summerlin welcomes patients of Henderson, Las Vegas, and Summerlin, Nevada.