In select cases, Dr. Mark Davis may recommend inlays or onlays as a conservative alternative to full-coverage crowns. A “full-coverage crown” is a restoration that covers your entire tooth, and they are often called “caps.” An “inlay” is a restoration that is bonded within the center of your tooth. An “onlay” is a restoration that covers one or more cusps (points or corners) on your tooth. Also known as “indirect fillings,” inlays and onlays offer a well-fitting, strong, long-lasting restorative solution when you need to replace an old filling or when you have new decay.
In his office, Dr. Mark Davis places composite (white) fillings, and you can read more about them here. Rather than molding a composite filling to fit your tooth and your mouth while you are in the dental office, Dr. Mark Davis will take an impression of your tooth so that your final inlay or onlay can be fabricated by our local dental lab. For the meantime, he will create a temporary restoration for your tooth. At your second appointment, Dr. Mark Davis will permanently bond your final inlay or onlay to your tooth.
Typically, an inlay or onlay procedure is completed in two dental visits.
During your first visit, Dr. Mark Davis will prepare your damaged tooth. A molded impression of your tooth is then taken and sent to his local dental laboratory, where your inlay or onlay is fabricated. Inlays and onlays can be made from gold, porcelain, or resin materials. The difference is in the appearance of the finished restoration. A fitted, temporary inlay or onlay (“provisional” or “temp”) in the shape of the final restoration will be created by Dr. Mark Davis during your first visit to protect the tooth while your final restoration is being fabricated.
During your second visit, your temporary is removed and your inlay or onlay is placed. Inlays and onlays are extremely stable restorations that seldom fail. Dr. Mark Davis will check all margins (where your tooth and your inlay or only meet) to ensure a smooth fit with tight adjacent contacts between your teeth. Dr. Mark Davis will also check your bite to ensure that there are no “high” spots on your new tooth. Once properly fitted, your inlay or onlay is bonded onto your tooth and the margins are polished smooth.