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Porcelain Onlays and Inlays

At NYC Smile Design, we pride ourselves with being able to provide an array of services and options for our patients. We believe that choice is your right and our experienced cosmetic dentists Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib work with you from the start to create a customized plan for your specific needs. When you have large cavities or wish to replace an existing metal filling, we offer the options of porcelain inlays and onlays to give your teeth back their natural feel and shape.

If you’re interested in porcelain inlays and onlays or wish to learn more, contact our Manhattan office today at 212-452-3344 or visit our website to schedule a consultation. We transform smiles to those who live in New York, NY.

What are Porcelain Inlays and Onlays?

Modern cosmetic dentistry has afforded us with advances in technology to help create custom-made fillings to address structural issues with your teeth. Porcelain inlays and onlays are natural-looking fillings that help repair the surface of your tooth so that they will be stronger while helping to prevent future dental issues.

Both porcelain inlays and onlays are great for teeth with cavities that require a repair less extensive than a dental crown but are serious enough to need something more supportive than a dental filling. They’re also great for teeth that have small cracks or fractures that require restoration. Porcelain inlays and onlays are a conservative choice that ensures the preservation of the maximum amount of your own tooth.

While porcelain inlays and onlays generally serve the same purpose, there are subtle distinctions between the two, which are:

  • Porcelain inlays: Inlays are placed in the center of a tooth and bonded to it. They’re most often used for decayed or damaged teeth where the problem areas are shallow but wide, and near the outer surfaces of the tooth.
  • Porcelain onlays: Onlays may be necessary where a previous large filling has failed and needs replacing or if there is a large cavity that needs to be repaired. Onlays are can also be used to repair damage to multiple cusps.

Each option is helpful by giving more support to your remaining tooth structure while minimizing the chances that you will eventually require further treatment, such as dental crowns, bridges, or implants.

How are Inlays and Onlays Different from Fillings and Crowns?

Dental fillings are used to address tooth decay on nearly any tooth surface. Dental crowns are placed over teeth that have been weakened by decay or trauma. Inlays address decay in between tooth cusps.Onlays address decay over and on tooth cusps. There are cross-over applications between all of these restorative services, but each is specifically designed for a different purpose. At NYC Smile Design, all of our restorations are cosmetically appealing, allowing them to fit unnoticeably into your smile where they serve to strengthen and beautify for years to come.

What Makes Someone a Candidate for an Inlay or Onlay?

If you have decay in between the cusps of your teeth, you may be a good candidate for inlays. If you have decay the cusps of your teeth, you may be a good candidate for onlays.

A good way to determine if one of these restorations will meet your needs is through a one-on-one consultation and evaluation at NYC Smile Design.  Inlays and onlays may last for 10 to 30 years when cared for properly. At NYC Smile Design, we place porcelain restorations that are stronger, more reliable, and longer-lasting than resin alternatives. With a solid oral hygiene routine complete with brushing and flossing, you can expect your inlays or onlays to last for several years.

Advantages of Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

As mentioned above, porcelain inlays and onlays are a great solution for when your teeth need intermediary restorations. They offer many advantages, including:

  • Custom fitting: Inlays and onlays require minimal preparation and preserve as much of your tooth as possible. By using impressions of your existing tooth, a mold is created that will fit tightly to your tooth.
  • Natural look: The porcelain used matches your existing tooth color and is unlikely to fade over time as resin fillings can.
  • Easy cleaning: Because of their precise fit, inlays and onlays are just like your natural teeth, while also being less bulky than dental crowns, making brushing and flossing an easy process. They are also stain resistant.
  • Natural feel: When correctly made they feel and function just as your natural teeth.
  • Strength: Once bonded to your tooth, the porcelain inserts add strength and support to the damaged tooth.
  • Long lasting: The porcelain material is quite durable and made to last a long time.
  • Safe: The porcelain material does not contract or expand with hot or cold foods and drinks, meaning they will not crack your teeth.

Are Inlays/Onlays Painful?

No. Inlays and onlays are not painful, but there may be slight discomfort while they are being placed – similar to a tooth filling. We use a topical anesthetic to help ensure optimal patient comfort. We would be happy to discuss the option of gentle sedation if you feel nervous about inlay or onlay placement.

Is There Recovery or Downtime Associated With Getting Onlays or Inlays?

No. There is no recovery period for inlays or onlays. Similar to any dental work, you may have some difficulties speaking and swallowing in the few hours it takes the topical anesthetic to wear off and there may be some mild soreness for a day or so, but there is no need to avoid working or to take time to rest after getting an inlay or onlay. The exception to this is if you have undergone sedation for your procedure. Patients who undergo dental sedation may need to rest after their appointments until the sedative effects wear off.

Contact Our Manhattan Inlay and Only Specialists Today

At NYC Smile Design, our goal is to save and preserve as much of your natural teeth as possible. Dr. Tabib and Dr. Mello have been providing exceptional cosmetic dental services in Manhattan since 1995 and continually strive to learn and implement the latest techniques to enhance your smile.

If you’re interested in restoring your teeth with porcelain inlays or onlays, contact us today at 212-452-3344 or visit our website to schedule a consultation. We proudly serve all of Manhattan and New York, NY.

Send us a message or give us a call

(212) 452-3344