When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged our dentist at Belmont Dental Associates will often use an inlay or onlay in Haledon and Caldwell, New Jersey.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold or composite resin. The material is bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used for the tips or cusps of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but it may extend over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength, and also its color, which can potentially match the look of the rest of your tooth.

How are inlays and onlays applied?

Inlays and onlays require only one appointment to complete, since we use the E4D CAD/CAM System. During the visit, the filling being that is replaced or the section of the tooth that is damaged or decayed is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure a proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made by the dentist before the inlay or onlay is created.

Dr. Lembo will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the material will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.

Considerations for inlays and onlays

Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50 percent. As an alternative, inlays and onlays, which are bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75 percent. As a result, they can last from 10 to 30 years. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative. Please contact us at Haledon 973-790-4494 Caldwell 862-702-3797 to schedule your consultation soon.