Inlays & Onlays

If your teeth have significant decay, you might want a dental crown, fillings, or an inlay/onlay.

The terminology can be confusing, because most people (especially dentists) refer to inlays and onlays simply as “fillings.”  Adding to the confusion is that an inlay differs only a little from an onlay.  In any case, they’re all options to consider if you want to restore your tooth, and they’re all solutions Pure Dental Arts in Seattle can help you with.

Contact Pure Dental Arts today, or read on to learn more about inlays and onlays first.

Dental inlays or onlays vs. fillings vs. crowns

You probably want a filling when the tooth only has minimal decay or damage.  You may want a crown when most of the tooth is damaged.

An inlay or onlay is ideal when your level of tooth damage is somewhere in-between.

An inlay or onlay is like a big filling, replacing more of the natural tooth than a typical filling would, while still being a conservative treatment option.  Most inlays or onlays are made from tooth-colored materials, rather than metal.

Inlay vs. onlay: what’s the difference?

The difference is in where on the tooth the inlay or onlay goes.

An inlay is placed between the “pointy parts” of your tooth, known as the cusps.  An onlay goes on the edge of the chewing surface of your tooth, replacing at least one of the cusps. In other words, onlays cover more of the tooth than inlays do.

How much does an inlay or onlay cost?

Usually more than a filling, and usually much less than a crown.  The basic reason is that they replace more natural tooth than a filling, but less than a crown.

Unlike with fillings, putting in inlays or onlays is a two-step process.

First we have to “prep,” or file the tooth down a bit, and then create a mold of the area where the inlay or onlay will go in. Our dental laboratory technicians then use the mold to create the inlay or onlay itself.  Then, on a second visit to our office, we insert and cement the inlay or onlay, so it’s on your tooth permanently.

Contact Pure Dental Arts to discuss inlays or onlays

Inlays and onlays are often a great treatment option, because they maximize the amount of healthy natural tooth we can keep.

Contact Pure Dental Arts in Queen Anne, Seattle, to discuss what’s best for your teeth, smile, and budget.