Often described as a middle-ground between a regular filling and a crown, a dental inlay or onlay can restore a damaged or decayed tooth. Used on molars and pre-molars, a dental inlay covers the concave center of a tooth while an onlay covers the rounded, upper edges of a tooth. Like dental fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays can be made out of a variety of materials — composite resin, porcelain, and metal. Dentist Dr. Despina Markogiannakis can help Chevy Chase, MD patients better understand fillings, crowns, inlays, and onlays so they can make an informed decision about the treatment of their damaged tooth at Smiles of Chevy Chase.
A dental inlay or onlay is a good choice if you have a damaged tooth or a large cavity that is too big to be filled but also doesn't require the full coverage of a crown. During your examination, Dr. Markogiannakis will use your digital x-rays to decide on the best treatment for your tooth. If an inlay or onlay is selected, she will go over the available materials that will best suit your needs. You can also discuss whether you would prefer a direct restoration created onsite, or an indirect restoration made at a dental laboratory.
What To Expect
After applying local anesthesia to numb the treatment area, Dr. Marko will begin by removing the areas of decay. Stronger methods of sedation can be used if you have anxiety or a strong gag reflex. Once the tooth is cleaned, impressions will be made of the tooth. If you are receiving an indirect restoration, a temporary filling will be placed until it is prepared. Once your restoration is ready, Dr. Marko will carefully place and bond it onto your tooth. She may polish the edges or adjust the fit so that your tooth is properly covered and feels comfortable.
If only local anesthesia was used, you should be able to leave after the procedure and return to your normal day. You may feel some discomfort, inflammation, or sensitivity for a few days after your inlay or onlay is placed. Please contact Smiles of Chevy Chase if you have any concerns after your procedure. Your dental inlay or onlay should be cleaned just like your natural teeth with daily brushing and flossing. You should schedule annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings at Smiles of Chevy Chase so Dr. Markogiannakis can assess the health and wear of your restoration. With proper care, it should last for many years before replacing or repairing.
Inlays and onlays are a common treatment for dental decay and other damage so they are usually covered by dental insurance. Our office will contact your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage before calculating your out-of-pocket costs. Dr. Marko can customize your treatment with different materials to fit your budget. During your consultation, Dr. Marko will go over cost estimates and payment methods we accept, including medical financing.
Inlays and Onlays
Whether you select an inlay or onlay, porcelain or metal, direct or indirect, it's important to treat a decayed or damaged tooth before it becomes a painful and expensive problem. Learn more about dental inlays and onlays to restore your teeth by scheduling a consultation at our Chevy Chase, MD dental office. Dr. Markogiannakis and her skilled team at Smiles of Chevy Chase will help improve your smile and oral health with the best treatment for your needs.