Serving Choto, Northshore, and surrounding areas of Knoxville, TN
At Choto Family Dentistry, we prefer to use inlays and onlays to repair intermediate areas of damage. Made either of dental porcelain or a composite resin, inlays and onlays are recommended when there is an area of tooth decay that is too large to be repaired by a normal filling, but not large enough to require installing a crown, which involves replacing the entire exterior of a tooth.
Inlays and onlays also can be placed as replacements for older fillings in which a new composite filling is not enough to repair the damage, but a crown would be too invasive and leave little tooth structure. Instead, an inlay or onlay can preserve the natural structure of the tooth, while adding stability and protection.
What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?
An inlay repairs only the area between the cusps of a tooth. Cusps are the tiny bumps on the tops of your teeth.
An onlay is a bigger restoration that can cover multiple cusps of a tooth, up to and including the entire chewing surface.
Let’s take a closer look at the types of inlays and onlays we offer at your Choto family dentist:
- Porcelain: These inlays and onlays are fabricated from the same top-quality dental porcelain used in many of our other restorations. This porcelain will reflect light the same way your natural tooth enamel does. The installation of a porcelain inlay or onlay will require multiple visits at our office: one to take an impression of the tooth and apply a temporary filling, and a second where the permanent restoration is placed.
- Composite: These inlays and onlays are made of a composite resin. They are durable, and can be matched to your natural tooth. Typically, a composite resin inlay or onlay can be completed during a single office visit.
During your visit with your Knoxville family dentist, we will discuss the benefits of both materials and decide which is best for you depending on your oral care needs. Both materials can be chosen in a shade that matches your existing teeth. Keep in mind that whatever shade we choose is permanent as the shade of porcelain nor composite cannot be altered. If you wish to have a brighter smile overall, we can provide you with a teeth whitening treatment and, therefore, choose a lighter shade of porcelain or composite.
Is an inlay or onlay right for me?
Using inlays and onlays allows your restorative dentist in Northshore more flexibility in treatment options.
For those intermediate areas of damage, an inlay/onlay is a superior choice to a crown for the following reasons:
- More of the original tooth structure is retained – any crown procedure necessitates that the entire exterior of a tooth is replaced
- Installing an inlay/onlay is less invasive than installing a crown
- Inlays and onlays cost less than crowns
Inlays and Onlays in Knoxville
For more information about our inlay/onlay procedures, contact the office of Choto Family Dentistry by calling (865) 409-5077. Choto Family Dentistry provides total oral health care to patients of Knoxville, Tennessee, and the communities of Choto and Northshore.