When Are Inlays and Onlays Needed?

By: Dr. Tracy Provenghi


Do you have damaged teeth, but they are not so bad that they require a crown? If so, you might be an ideal candidate for oral health restorations known as inlays and onlays. Inlays and onlays can correct cracked, fractured, or decayed teeth if the damage is only mild to moderate. Dental inlays and onlays function in place of a dental filling.

If you believe that you are a good candidate for inlays or onlays, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Tracy Provenghi at Awesome Smiles in El Paso, TX. She will perform a complete oral and dental health examination to determine a treatment plan that helps meet your needs and goals.

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are a combination of a full crown with tooth-colored fillings. They are used to fix damaged or decayed premolars or molars. The inlay is placed so that it covers and protects the concave middle of the tooth. An onlay covers the upper round edge of the tooth. Dental inlays and onlays are similar to fillings and crowns. They can be fabricated from a variety of materials, such as metal, composite resin, or porcelain. Dr. Provenghi will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each of the material types so you can determine which one will best fit your needs and budget.

Onlay and inlay procedure

A numbing cream is applied to your gums to ensure your comfort during the dental treatment. Dr. Provenghi will begin the procedure by cleaning away any signs of decay. After the enamel has been fully cleaned, a digital impression is made of your tooth. The inlay or onlay is created at the in-house lab at Awesome Smiles in El Paso, TX. Once the inlay or onlay has been fabricated, Dr. Provenghi will set and bond the onlay or inlay onto your tooth’s surface. She will polish the borders for a smooth finish. Also, she will make any necessary adjustments to ensure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly on your tooth.

Following the dental procedure, you can return to work and normal activities. Some patients do report mild discomfort, sensitivity, or inflammation for a few days after having an onlay or inlay placed.

Care of your inlay or onlay consists of regular brushing and flossing plus twice-a-year professional cleanings and exams at Awesome Smiles in El Paso, TX.

Benefits of inlays and onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are a form of dental restoration that focuses on prolonging the life of your teeth. When the onlays or inlays are made of durable materials such as porcelain or gold, they can easily last for decades or a lifetime. You’ll want to discuss choosing a durable dental inlay or onlay with Dr. Provenghi. Typically, inlays and onlays will last much longer than standard fillings and crowns, which need replacement more frequently.

Schedule an inlay or onlay consultation in El Paso, TX today

We invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Tracy Provenghi at Awesome Smiles in El Paso, TX. She will examine your teeth to determine if an inlay or onlay is the right treatment choice. At the consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your long-term dental goals. Contact us today for more information.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.