What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are ceramic fillings. Fillings fill in cavities, sealing out bacteria and preventing the growth of cavities.

The difference between inlays and onlays is simply the size. Inlays rest completely within the cusps (high points) on a tooth, while onlays include one or more of the cusps.

Benefits of Ceramic Inlays and Onlays

  • Most attractive restorations. Inlays and onlays are the most natural-looking fillings. The ceramic has the same luster as natural tooth enamel. CEREC lets Dr. Grimshaw precisely match the color of your teeth, too.
  • Restore strength to teeth. Cavities weaken your teeth. Inlays and onlays can restore some of the lost strength, more than either composite or metal amalgam fillings.
  • Less sensitivity. Metal amalgam fillings can cause temperature sensitivity because they conduct heat, and they expand and contract rapidly. Composite fillings can cause pressure sensitivity because they are not as strong. Inlays and onlays combine insulation and strength to avoid sensitivity.
  • Biocompatible materials. Inlays and onlays are made of ceramic, which is free of toxic metals. It also won’t cause galvanic currents in the mouth. And because the ceramic expands and contracts like your tooth, it won’t cause cracking.
  • Precise and efficient. The CEREC system makes it easy to make inlays and onlays. It only takes one visit to get these advanced ceramic restorations. Even if there’s a problem, we can adjust it that day. Read more about this quick process below.
  • Preserve more of your natural tooth. For large cavities, many dentists will move to recommending a dental crown. Crowns are good, but they require removing a lot of natural tooth. Inlays and onlays can repair a large cavity with less loss of natural tooth.
  • Long-lasting. Inlays and onlays are very strong restorations. The materials are much stronger than tooth enamel, and when properly placed, they can last up to 30 years! And if you care for them properly, they can look beautiful that entire time.
  • Easy to replace. In the rare event that your inlay or onlay breaks or is lost, we can use the stored design to make a replacement immediately.

Our Procedure for One-Visit Inlays and Onlays

The CEREC system is an advanced dental technology that lets us make ceramic restorations in our office. The procedure is easy and quick.

  • Digital impression: It’s easy for Dr. Grimshaw to take an image of your teeth. She essentially waves a wand over your teeth and the computer constructs a 3D model.
  • Designing your filling: Using the 3D model, Dr. Grimshaw designs the shape of the filling to precisely fit your bite.
  • Milling the filling: After the design is complete, Dr. Grimshaw will send the design to the mil. The computer then carves the filling from a block of advanced ceramic chosen to match your natural teeth.
  • Adjusting the filling: After the filling is complete, Dr. Grimshaw can adjust it if necessary, including shaping for precise fit, and using glazes to subtly adjust the color so the match is perfect.

5-Year Guarantee

At Kuhn Dental Associates in Aberdeen, NC, we stand by our work with a 5-year guarantee on our dental restorations. You have to do your part by following good oral hygiene and making regular dental visits with us.

To make an appointment, please call (910) 692-4450 today or click here to request an appointment online.