Let’s say you have a very large cavity. Do you have to get a full crown to completely restore the tooth? Not necessarily! A more conservative option, inlays and onlays, fit into a tooth similar to a filling, but they are milled restorations very similar to a crown. The bumps on top of a tooth are called cusps. Inlays fit between cusps, while onlays fit over one or more cusps. Inlays and onlays allow a patient to retain more natural tooth structure, which is always best.
Not every situation is right for an inlay or onlay, but Dr. Franzen will assess your problem and determine the best solution for you. Because they are created in a lab like a crown, inlays and onlays require two appointments to be placed.
At the first visit, we will prepare your tooth by removing any decay or old fillings and cleaning the area. We will then take a dental impression and send it to our lab so that a technician can create a custom restoration for you. Dr. Franzen will determine the best material to use, but in most cases, teeth that show when you smile or speak can have a white restoration. Back teeth incur extreme pressure, so a metal inlay or onlay may be recommended. You'll wear a temporary until the lab delivers your final restoration.
At the second appointment, Dr. Franzen will remove your temporary and permanently cement your final inlay or onlay into position. After polishing and modifying the restoration as necessary to ensure proper bite alignment, you'll be able to enjoy your stronger, healthier smile for years to come.