Dental Inlays and Onlays in Bethesda & Chevy Chase, MD

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When dental damage strikes, finding the right solution is crucial. At Smiles of Chevy Chase, led by skilled greater Washington area cosmetic dentist, Dr. Despina Markogiannakis, we offer a middle-ground solution – dental inlays and onlays. Acting as a bridge between dental fillings and dental crowns, these restorations effectively address damaged or decayed teeth. With materials including composite resin, porcelain, and metal, our team ensures your personalized restoration fits seamlessly into your dental health journey.

What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

A tooth

Dental inlays and onlays are versatile dental restorations that fill the gap between traditional fillings and crowns. Inlays cover the concave center of a tooth, while onlays extend to the upper edges. These custom-crafted pieces restore the tooth's structure and function, ensuring a natural and comfortable fit within your oral landscape.

Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays

  • Preserve Tooth Structure: These restorations provide effective solutions that conserve healthy tooth structure.
  • Natural Aesthetics: Inlays and onlays are designed to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth.
  • Enhanced Durability: Crafted from durable materials, they offer lasting strength and protection.
  • Minimized Tooth Sensitivity: By sealing areas of decay, they help reduce sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

Who Qualifies for Dental Inlays and Onlays?

You might qualify for dental inlays and onlays if any of the following apply to you:

  • You have a greater degree of cavity size or deepness that can’t be supported by ordinary fillings
  • You have tooth decay or similar structural damage that can’t be repaired with a traditional filling
  • You have mild to moderate levels of decay that can be discreetly concealed using inlays and onlays

The Dental Inlays and Onlays Process


A tooth

During the consultation, Dr. Markogiannakis will perform a thorough examination of your dental health. This may include taking digital X-rays to assess the condition of your teeth and determine the extent of any damage or decay. Based on this assessment, you and Dr. Markogiannakis will discuss the most suitable restoration materials for your specific needs.


Once the treatment plan is determined, the preparation phase begins. Local anesthesia is applied to ensure your comfort during the procedure. We can also offer sedation dentistry to help you remain relaxed and pain-free. Our cosmetic dentist will remove the damaged areas of your tooth, creating a clean and stable foundation for the inlay or onlay. If an indirect restoration is chosen, she may place a temporary filling to protect the tooth until the final restoration is ready.

A tooth


The final step is the placement of the customized inlay or onlay. Dr. Markogiannakis will carefully bond the restoration to your tooth, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit. The inlay or onlay is designed to provide proper coverage and support to the damaged tooth, restoring its functionality and aesthetics.

Dental Inlay & Onlay Aftercare

A tooth

To keep your inlays or onlays looking their best and to ensure they last as long as possible, it’s important to follow instructions for aftercare. Dr. Markogiannakis offers these guidelines for caring for your restorations:

  1. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can damage the restoration area.
  2. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to brush your teeth gently, avoiding the restoration area on the first day.
  3. Floss your teeth gently, avoiding the restoration area for the first day.
  4. Rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water or an antibacterial mouthwash as instructed.
  5. Monitor sensitivity after the procedure. Some sensitivity is normal, but contact your dentist if it persists or worsens.
  6. Attend follow-up appointments as scheduled for the best results and continued oral health.
  7. Maintain good oral hygiene practices, including frequent dental visits, better brushing, flossing, a good diet, and fluoride to prevent further decay or damage.
  8. Contact your dentist immediately if you experience any discomfort or pain.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are inlays and onlays noticeable?

Inlays and onlays are meticulously crafted to blend with your natural teeth, making them virtually indistinguishable from the rest of your smile. As long as you take proper care of your inlays and onlays, they should look beautiful and natural.

Is the process of getting dental inlays and onlays uncomfortable?

Local anesthesia ensures minimal discomfort during the procedure. Your dentist may also provide sedation dentistry options to keep you more comfortable and relaxed. Any post-procedure sensitivity can be managed with over-the-counter pain relief.

How long do inlays and onlays last?

With proper care, including regular dental check-ups and maintenance, inlays and onlays can last for 10 to 15 years or longer. Be sure to maintain your oral hygiene and visit your cosmetic dentist at least every six months, so your dental inlays and onlays can be repaired and replaced as needed.

Will my dental insurance cover my inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are often covered by dental insurance due to their common use in treating dental decay and damage. Your dental team will collaborate with your insurance provider to determine your specific coverage, but it’s a good idea to contact them yourself beforehand.

Ready to Rejuvenate Your Smile? Call Us For Dental Inlays & Onlays

At Smiles of Chevy Chase, we're dedicated to enhancing your oral health and restoring your smile's brilliance with seamless dental inlays and onlays. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Markogiannakis today at Smiles of Chevy Chase by dialing 301-652-0656 to learn more about inlays and onlays. You can also fill out the contact form in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly.

Dr. Markogiannakis offers dental inlays and onlays to patients in the greater Washington area, including Chevy Chase and surrounding areas such as Bethesda, Somerset, and Forest Hills, MD. Embark on a journey to renewed dental vitality.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.