Decay can make teeth extra sensitive and eventually lead to tooth loss. An inlay or onlay can repair the tooth, alleviating sensitivity and preventing further decay.
Crowns require your dentist to remove a significant portion of the tooth to accommodate the restoration. In preparation for an inlay or onlay, your dentist will only need to remove decayed tissue.
Inlays and onlays are typically made of medical-grade porcelain, which can be shade-matched to blend seamlessly into your smile. Porcelain mimics the sheen of natural enamel and will remain vibrant over time.
When will a dentist recommend an inlay or onlay?
What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?
The price of an inlay or onlay generally ranges from $650 to $1200 per tooth. However, since inlays and onlays primarily serve a practical purpose, many insurance plans cover part or all of the costs associated with the procedure. Out-of-pocket costs for insured patients range from $40 to $100 for a porcelain restoration. The overall cost will ultimately vary depending on the type of material used, the extent of damage or decay, and the dentist’s level of expertise.
Let’s look at what receiving an inlay or onlay involves…
Administer a local anesthetic to numb the area
Remove compromised tissue
Thoroughly clean and dry the tooth
Take impressions of the tooth, which will be used to fabricate the restoration
If your dentist has CAD/CAM technology, he or she can craft your restoration on-site. Otherwise, your inlay or onlay will be crafted at an off-site laboratory.
Check the fit of the restoration to ensure your bite is balanced and comfortable
Bond the inlay or onlay to your tooth, restoring function and aesthetics
Do I need an inlay or onlay?
Dental fillings can be an excellent way to address tooth decay in molars. However, decay that affects a larger portion of the molar or extends over one or more of the cusps (edges) may need more than a filling. If the damage is not extensive enough to warrant a crown, an inlay or onlay may be the best solution. These restorations can last up to 20 years - twice as long as a filling.
Tooth decay can only become worse without prompt treatment. If you are not attending biannual checkups, or if you are experiencing symptoms of tooth decay, schedule a visit with your doctor!
Dr Perry is a great dentist. Very kind and informative. I feel like he is personally invested in my health. He always takes the time to sit and discuss any issues I'm having - I never feel like they're rushing me out.