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Dental Treatments


dental drill and inlay

Dental inlays and onlays are some of the strongest and most lifelike dental restorations available. Inlays and onlays are usually more durable than regular fillings made from amalgam or composite, and, in most cases, the restoration completely blends into the natural tooth surface. With proper care, your dental inlay or onlay increases your oral and overall health and instills confidence for years to come. Our knowledgeable staff at the office of Greg DeVor, DDS, in Lakewood, Ohio, offers gentle, compassionate care for all your dental needs, including dental inlays that repair damaged teeth and provide you with a healthier smile.

What Are Dental Inlays?

A dental inlay is a premolded filling that fits into the grooves of a damaged tooth, but it doesn't extend over the cusp of the tooth. It fills the pits and fissures in the tooth, which mainly includes the chewing surface between the cusps. If damage to the tooth doesn't affect the cusps, then an inlay is the most likely restorative method we'll use. Alternately, an onlay covers more of the tooth, including one or more cusps, and is used when more extensive damage to the tooth spills over and onto the cusps. If the entire tooth surface and all cusps need covering, then you may need a crown instead.

Dental Inlay Process

When you're scheduled for a dental inlay, we start by anesthetizing, or numbing, your mouth. We then prepare the tooth in much the same way we would for a standard filling by drilling the tooth to remove the decayed portion from the sound tooth structure. Once your tooth has been prepared to our satisfaction, we make an impression to send to the dental lab to have the inlay made. A dental inlay is fabricated from composite resin or porcelain to match the look and feel of your natural teeth. The restoration often resembles a jigsaw puzzle piece and should completely blend into the natural tooth structure. However, for an increased fee, you may also request gold inlays.

We generally require you to wear a temporary filling to hold and protect the inlay area until your restoration has been fabricated. Once it's ready, you come back in to have the inlay cemented in place. The nearly invisible dental restoration repairs the tooth's chewing surface while helping to protect it from further decay.

Why You Might Need Dental Inlays

When a tooth has become damaged, either from decay or injury, an inlay may be required to restore health and strength to the natural tooth structure. We use dental inlays and onlays on molar and premolars when there's too much damage for a filling but not enough damage to require a crown.

One of the top reasons you may need a dental inlay is poor oral hygiene. When you don't properly brush and floss daily with products that help fight tooth decay, it could lead to plaque buildup and active cavities that permanently damage areas in a tooth. However, practicing good oral hygiene won't protect a tooth from becoming broken or fractured due to an injury to the mouth.

We may also recommend an inlay instead of a regular filling if the damage is extensive and requires a large dental filling that might weaken the remaining tooth structure. If the level of damage doesn't allow us to remove enough tooth material to support a crown, we may recommend an inlay in these situations as well.

First-Class Family Dentistry Services

Dr. Greg DeVor is a leading general and cosmetic dentist in the Greater Cleveland area and has been caring for his patients' dental health since 2002. We're committed to providing top-notch preventive care to patients of all ages and cosmetic dentistry options that help you have the winning smile you've always wanted. When dental problems arise, including the need for dental inlays or onlays, we provide comfortable, state-of-the-art treatment to help you maintain the health of your teeth.Contact us at 216-221-1438 to schedule an appointment for dental treatment today.