Inlays and Onlays, Dentists in Stamford know the Difference

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Inlays and Onlays, Dentists in Stamford know the Difference

We’ve all heard of fillings, crowns, and bridges. But do you know what an inlay or an onlay is?

In Stamford, we know the difference and will consult with you to see if the procedure is viable for your situation. 

Also called indirect fillings or partial crowns, both inlays and onlays can utilize a variety of materials, but mainly porcelain. 

Both are used to help protect moderately damaged or decaying teeth. An inlay is placed in the center of the tooth, while an onlay is placed inside, outside and/or on the points of the tooth.

The procedure isn’t as involved as getting a full crown and is usually far less expensive.


What do I need to do beforehand?


As with any procedure, you should make sure that you


  • Provide your dentist with a current list of prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, herbal treatments, and vitamins. 
  • Advise your dentist of any allergies or conditions that you may have
  • Take medications exactly as directed.
  • Tell your care team if there is any possibility of pregnancy or if you are nursing


What Can I expect?


Once you and your dentist have decided that an indirect filling is right for you, The dentist will 

  • Numb the area, 
  • Remove any old filling or decay, 
  • Smooth and shape the tooth to accept the inlay or onlay, 
  • Make a mold of the tooth,
  • Prepare the temporary or permanent restoration
  • Smooth and shape the inlay/onlay


How long will the inlay and onlay procedure take? When will I go home?

In the case that your dentist needs to get an impression before placing an inlay or onlay, you will receive a temporary placement and come back within a few weeks, at most, to get the permanent indirect filling. The procedure generally lasts no longer than an hour, between preparing the tooth and polishing. You can go back to normal, as soon as the anesthetic wears off.

Will I have any restrictions after the procedure?

Your dentist may recommend that you don’t eat or drink anything for a short period of time after the procedure. Generally only until the anesthesia wears off. If there are any other restrictions, they will let you know beforehand.

How long will my inlay/onlay last?

Your inlay/onlay will generally last anywhere from 10-20 years with proper oral hygiene. 

The procedure is virtually pain free, cost effective, and instead of taking the time it takes to get a crown, or the possibility that a filling will come out, an inlay/onlay may be the right choice for you. The porcelain is shaped and colored to match your natural teeth and you’ll be back to eating steak in no time.

So, for an option to getting a filling or a crown, talk to your dentist in Stamford to see if an inlay or onlay is right for you. We know the difference.