Wayzata, Minnesota

Inlays & Onlays

Why Inlays? Why Onlays?
If you’ve ever had a cavity filled with a silver amalgam filling you are probably aware that it is converted into a paste first, then pressed into the tooth which has been prepared with undercuts to hold the filling in. This process results in a filling which the remaining tooth must support.

Cosmetic Dentist Minnesota

Cosmetic Dentist Minnesota

Inlays and onlays, on the other hand, support and reform the tooth. The process is entirely different. After your tooth is prepared, without undercuts, an impression is taken and sent to a dental laboratory where a model is made. Based on this model, a porcelain or gold inlay or onlay is produced. Since most of the work is done outside the mouth, stronger, longer-lasting materials are used.

Why Porcelain? Why Gold?
Porcelain and gold are ideal restorative materials for inlays and onlays. Their superior qualities make them ideal for building back the natural shape of the tooth, for providing additional strength to a restored tooth, and for protecting a weakened tooth against possible fracture and decay. An added feature is that porcelain can be created to match the natural color of your tooth. No more discolored teeth from the gray shadows of amalgam fillings.

Where Are Inlays And Onlays Used?
An inlay is used to restore a tooth in place of a filling. The advantages are stronger, longer lasting, and more natural shape to blend in with the tooth. Onlays are bigger inlays, but not as big as crowns. Sometimes classified as partial crowns, onlays rebuild the cusps of the teeth that have been weakened by decay or large fillings.

Where Are They Used?
They are used in the bicuspid or molar areas (the back teeth), and many times used with all porcelain crowns or veneers to blend in with the natural color of your teeth.

How Long Do They Last?
Inlays and onlays last as long as crowns, which may range from ten to thirty years depending on the existing condition of the teeth, the occlusal forces, and home care.