Inlays and Onlays

Pop Quiz! What’s smaller than a tooth crown but larger than a dental filling with next-level protection? If you said, “a dental inlay or onlay,” you’re correct! Dr. Z offers onlays and inlays for patients with mid-sized cavities at Pristine Smiles in Knoxville, TN.

What exactly are dental inlays and onlays?

Before diving into the differences between dental onlays and inlays, we need to give you a brief anatomy lesson. Though teeth are relatively small organs, they consist of many parts. Now, run your tongue along the surfaces of your teeth. The cusp is the projected point on top of the tooth.

In their most basic descriptions, the main distinction between a dental inlay and an onlay is where they are placed amongst the cusps. A dental inlay fits in the nooks and crannies inside the tooth cusps. On the other hand, a dental onlay goes beyond the cusps and fills a much larger region.

Procedure Expectations

Before starting treatment, Dr. Z will look at your teeth and decide on candidacy or recommend an alternative treatment. If an inlay or onlay is the most suitable treatment path, our Knoxville general dentist will prepare the tooth with laser light and remove any problematic dental tissue. Then, she will take comfortable digital impressions of the mouth to ensure that your inlay or onlay will fit seamlessly. If necessary, she will place a temporary restoration to protect your teeth until your bespoke creation comes back from the lab.

When we receive your custom-fit inlay or onlay, we invite you back to our near Oak Ridge dental office for a short visit. Here, Dr. Z will fit and cement your final inlay or onlay.

Treatment Maintenance

Inlays and onlays are made of ceramic materials, which means they are convincing and durable but not invincible. We ask that patients with inlays and onlays take care of them like they would their natural teeth, but also consider that they might warrant replacement in a decade or two.

Is an inlay or onlay right for me?

Inlays and onlays are considered restorative dentistry because they mend damaged or decayed teeth.  Typically, inlays and onlays restore intermediate cavities, fractured dental surfaces, and exposed tooth cusps.

Get the Right Restorative Solution

Dental health needs are often overlooked, but Dr. Z and her Pristine Smiles team can elevate your dental implants with dental inlays and onlays. Take your first step to a better smile and schedule a restorative dentistry visit in Knoxville, TN. Call (865) 693-9474 or message us online.