Inlays & Onlays: A hybrid between crowns and fillings

INLAYS & ONLAYS IN SAN CLEMENTE, ORANGE COUNTY, CA

Oceansight Dental & Implants

Office of Dr. Ali John Jazayeri

106 S Ola Vista

San Clemente, CA 92672

Tel: (949) 481 – 2540

Fax: (949) 481-2544

email: dr@oceansightdental.com

Request an appointment:

What are inlays and onlays?

inlay-onlay-crowns
Placing an inlay or onlay restores the damaged portion of your tooth while preserving healthy tooth structure.

Inlays and onlays are conservative dental prosthesis used to fix moderately-to-severely damaged teeth. Typically, inlays and onlays are used to restore teeth which are too far damaged for a filling but at the same time not so bad where they require a full-coverage crown. Inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory or milling machine from porcelain or ceramic, similar to a crown. Placing an inlay or onlay on your tooth restores the damaged portion of the tooth and preserves healthy tooth structure. Inlays and onlays are durable, natural-looking and very effective at restoring your damaged teeth back to their original format. They also protect your tooth from cavity bugs, fractures and further damage.

If you’re interested in fixing your teeth with inlays or onlays, give us a call at (949) 481-2540 today. We offer all types of crowns including inlays, onlays, full-coverage crowns, porcelain veneers, Lumineers, 3/4 crowns and more! Relax, you don’t have to understand all these different types of crowns. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will examine your teeth in our San Clemente dental office. He will explain to you the best type of crown which is most suited to your needs. Schedule your appointment with Oceansight Dental & Implants today to learn more about your different treatment options.

What is the process of receiving an inlay or onlay for your tooth?

inlay-onlay-procedure
Inlays and onlays are made in a laboratory from durable porcelain or ceramic material similar to a crown

The process of receiving an inlay or onlay is very similar to receiving a full-coverage crown. First, your dentist will numb your tooth. Then, he or she will remove damaged tooth structure and any cavities on your tooth. Afterwards, we will take an impression or scan of your tooth to fabricate your inlay or onlay. Once prepared, your inlay or onlay will be bonded onto your tooth and permanently locked into place. The difference between an inlay and onlay is in how much tooth structure is removed:

Inlay

Inlays are very conservative and thus used to restore minimally damaged teeth. Placing an inlay on your tooth does not involve removing any outer tooth structure. Essentially, an inlay is fully confined within the tooth itself. Therefore, inlays leave your outer tooth walls fully intact and preserve maximum tooth structure.

Onlay

Onlays are larger than inlays and used for restoring more severely damaged teeth. All onlays extend into at least one outer tooth wall and goes beyond the inside of your tooth structure. Whereas inlays are closer to fillings in terms of size and function, onlays are closer to full-coverage crowns. Typically, onlays cover most of your tooth structure and leave just a small potion of your tooth intact. To learn more about inlays and onlays and different tooth restoration options, give us a call at (949) 481-2540 today. Dr. Jazayeri will examine your teeth to determine the most suitable option to fix your teeth. Give us a call or come into our San Clemente dental office today to learn more.

What is the difference between inlays and onlays versus a traditional crown?

inlay-onlay-crown-comparison
Inlays and onlays are far more conservative than full coverage crowns and require less tooth removal

Think of inlays and onlays as more conservative and more modern versions of a traditional crown. Inlays and onlays are similar to crowns in many ways, for example:

  • Both inlays and onlays are made from porcelain or ceramic, just like most crowns are
  • The procedure for receiving a crown is nearly identical to that of receiving an inlay or onlay
  • Inlays and onlays get bonded to your teeth the same that a crown or porcelain veneer gets cemented onto your tooth

The only difference between them is how much tooth structure is removed to fabricate each prosthesis. Inlays are the most conservative of them all. Onlays are bit larger. Full-coverage crowns are the largest of all these restorations. As a result, inlays and onlays make a great option for restoring minimally damaged teeth which can’t be restored with a filling but aren’t necessarily ready for a full-coverage crown either.

What are the benefits of inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are used in place of traditional crowns to restore moderately-to-severely damaged teeth. There are a few benefits which sets inlays and onlays apart from regular fillings and crowns. Here are some benefits of inlays and onlays which make them a preferred treatment option in many instances:

Excellent tooth protection

Both inlays and onlays are made from porcelain or ceramic. This makes them much stronger than traditional white fillings. White fillings are made from porous resins which can break or crack under repeated chewing stress. Plus, large white fillings often times leak which can lead to nerve damage and infection. Inlays and onlays do a much better job of protecting your teeth against cavities and fracture. Plus, they are far less likely to leak the way regular white fillings do.

More conservative treatment option

Inlays and onlays are much more conservative as compared to full-coverage crowns. They leave more of your original tooth structure intact since they only cover the damaged portion of your tooth and not the whole tooth. In contrast, full-coverage crowns remove much more tooth structure. Being more conservative has several benefits. It reduces the likelihood of your tooth becoming sensitive, getting infected and requiring a root canal treatment or breaking off and needing a dental implant.

Excellent durability

Both inlays and onlays protect your teeth against cavities and fractures. Inlays and onlays are both made from ceramic which makes them extremely durable and fracture resistant. A well-designed inlay or onlay could easily last you decades, sometimes even a lifetime. To learn more about inlays and onlays or to schedule a consultation for them, give us a call today. You can reach us at (949) 481-2540 or book your appointment online. Visit us at our San Clement, Orange County dental office to see how we can help you restore your beautiful smile in less time than you’d imagine!

When is it better to receive a traditional crown over an inlay or onlay?

Despite the many benefits of inlays and onlays, there are many cases where placing a full-coverage crown is the preferred option. Here are some cases where it is better to go with a full-coverage crown as opposed to an inlay or onlay:

Severely damaged tooth

inlay-onlay-severely-broken-molar
Severely damaged teeth are better restored with a full coverage crown that protects the whole tooth

The main benefit of inlays and onlays is that they are more conservative and preserve more original tooth structure. However, if your tooth is very damaged then you don’t need a conservative restoration. Severely damaged teeth are better restored with a full-coverage crown. These types of crowns protect your whole tooth structure above the gum lines. In contrast, placing an inlay or onlay leaves your tooth vulnerable to more damage and possibly even tooth loss. Talk to your dentist to see if your tooth is better suited for a conservative restoration like inlays and onlays or for full-coverage crown. Call us today at (949) 481-2540 to schedule your consultation and learn more about your treatment options.

Root canal treated teeth

inlay-onlay-root-canal-tooth
Placing a full coverage crown is a much better option to protect all root canal treated teeth.

Teeth which are treated with root canal become weak and brittle over time. This happens because root canal removes blood flow to your tooth along with the nerve structure. As a result, your tooth becomes fragile and is likely to break over time. Placing a full-coverage crown is a much better option to protect root canal treated teeth. Inlays and onlays don’t cover the entire tooth and can lead to further damage to root canal treated teeth.

Missing teeth

inlay-onlay-missing-teeth
Patients with missing teeth overcompensate by placing added pressure onto their remaining teeth

If you have several missing teeth in your mouth the we always that you go with full-coverage crowns instead of inlays and onlays. For one, missing teeth is a sign of failure to maintain proper oral hygiene. As a result, going with a stronger and more durable restoration option is a better decision. Additionally, patients with missing teeth overcompensate by placing added pressure onto their remaining teeth. The added bite pressure causes inlays and onlays to fracture. Consequently, it’s best to go with full-coverage crowns if you have multiple missing teeth in your mouth.

Poor bite

inlay-onlay-poor-bite
Patients with a crossbite place much more stress onto their teeth

Having a poor bite also places added stress onto your teeth. For instance, if you have a crossbite, you place much more stress onto your teeth. Similarly, having a class 3 malocclusion also places added stress onto your teeth. If you are suffering from orthodontic issues that affect your bite we usually recommended that you go with a full-coverage crowns instead of an inlay or onlay. The added chewing pressure can stress your inlays and onlays and cause them to break. Full-coverage crowns last much longer for patients who suffer from bite related problems.

Heavy teeth grinding

Inlay-onlay-teeth-grinding
It’s always better to go with full coverage crowns if you grind your teeth

Grinding your teeth has the same effect as missing teeth or orthodontic malocclusions. It creates more stress onto your teeth which causes dental restorations to break. If you grind your teeth you place about 6 times stress onto your teeth. As a result, inlays and onlays are likely to break within a few years. It’s always better to go with full-coverage crowns if you are a heavy tooth grinder. In fact, we recommend that the heaviest teeth grinders only consider restoring their teeth with extra-strength BruxZir full-coverage crowns. Otherwise, you could risk breaking your dental restoration and having to redo it a short time later!

Inlays and onlays in San Clemente, Orange County

inlays-onlays-orange-county
We offer customized ceramic and porcelain inlays and onlays to help meet your functional and aesthetic needs.

If you’re interested in receiving inlays or onlays to restore your teeth then give us a call today. We are conveniently located in downtown San Clemente, Orange County. You can reach us at (949)481-2540 or book your appointment online today. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will help you decided if an inlay or onlay is a good treatment option for you. We offer customized ceramic and porcelain inlays and onlays to help meet your functional and aesthetic needs. Don’t wait until your damaged tooth develops an infection or turns into a toothache! Give us a call to schedule your appointment at our San Clemente office today. If you’d like to learn more about different treatment options related to inlays and onlays, click on the following links:

Definition of General Dentistry Terminology

Abscess (cyst)

A pus pocket containing harmful bacteria that forms around infected teeth. Teeth with abscess are considered infected and they either need root canal treatment or must be extracted.

Amalgam (silver filling)

Material used to fill dental cavities. Amalgam is silver colored and contains Mercury. As a filling material, Amalgam is durable and effective. However, there are some concerns about the safety of using Mercury to restore teeth.

Bicuspid tooth

Refer to premolar tooth please.

Canine tooth (cuspid or eye tooth)

A strong, pointed tooth with a single cusp used to direct other teeth as we chew side-to-side. Canine teeth are very strong and typically outlast all other teeth as we age. We have 4 total canines, teeth numbers: 6, 11, 22 and 27.

Cavity (decay)

A hole inside a tooth created by harmful cavity bugs. Dental cavities can cause slight tooth sensitivity, particularly to cold and sweets. They can also be asymptomatic. If left untreated, dental cavities infiltrate the tooth pulp and cause abscess and infection.

Composite resin (white filling)

Material used to fill dental cavities and broken teeth. Composite resin is safe, effective and matches your tooth color. Cosmetic dentists prefer using composite resins to other filling restoration material due to their natural appearance.

Crown (cap)

A large restoration that replaces the majority of your tooth structure above the gum line. Crowns are used to fix teeth which can no longer be salvaged with a simple filling. Crowns are typically made from gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal or ceramic material.

Decay

Refer to cavity please.

Deep cleaning (scaling & root planning)

A type of dental cleaning which focuses on removing plaque and tartar underneath your gum line. Deep cleanings are used to treat gum disease. Most deep cleanings are performed in multiple sessions and often times require anesthesia.

Dental cleaning

Teeth cleaning performed by your dentist or hygienist. Dental cleaning focuses on removing plaque and tartar which can’t be removed by brushing or flossing alone. Dental cleanings are categorized as simple cleaning or deep cleaning.

Dentin

The middle portion of your tooth which is located above the pulp and underneath the enamel. Unlike enamel, dentin has nerve endings which makes it sensitive to tooth decay.

Denture

Removable, false teeth used to replace your missing natural teeth. Dentures are made from pink and white acrylic. The pink portion secures your dentures in place and the white segment replaces your missing teeth. There are many different types of dentures including full dentures and partial dentures.

Enamel

The very hard outer portion of your tooth. In fact, enamel is the hardest tissue found in our bodies. Enamel protects your tooth from cavities and provides it with the strength to cut and chew food.

Filling

Material used by dentists to replace missing tooth structure. Fillings are used to fix dental cavities and broken teeth. Fillings are made from gold (mostly obsolete), Amalgam (silver filling) or composite resin (white filling).

Full Denture (Complete denture)

A set of false teeth which replaces all of your teeth in one arch. Full dentures are held in place by the suction they provide against your gum tissue. Full dentures are typically made from pink and white acrylic.

Gingivitis

The earlier stage of gum disease. Gingivitis is characterized by bleeding gums, bad breath and minor tooth sensitivity. If left untreated, gingivitis progresses to the more advanced stage of gum disease known as periodontitis.

Gum Disease (Periodontal disease)

Disease of the gums and jaw bone. Gum disease is caused by spread of harmful bacteria to your gum and jaw bone. Gum disease causes bleeding gums, bone loss and tooth loss. Gum disease is categorized as gingivitis and periodontitis.

Impacted Tooth

A tooth which is trapped underneath your jaw bone. Impacted tooth typically refers to wisdom teeth, although other teeth can also be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth usually need to be removed. Other impacted teeth need to be removed, monitored or uprighted by your orthodontist.

Incisor tooth

The front most four teeth in your upper and lower jaw. Incisor teeth are used to cut food particles. We have 8 total incisors, teeth numbers: 7, 8, 9, 10, 23, 24, 25 and 26.

Infection

Spread of harmful bacteria into your tooth nerve. Once cavity bugs reach your tooth nerve, the tooth is now infected. Infected teeth can only be fixed with a root canal or you must remove the tooth completely.

Inlay

A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Inlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Inlays are smaller than onlays and do not encompass your outer tooth walls.

Molar tooth

Teeth located in the back of our mouth which have four cusps. Molar teeth are large and used to crush food particles. We have 8 total molars, teeth numbers: 2, 3, 14, 15, 18, 19, 30 and 31. Additionally, some of us have 3rd molars or wisdom teeth which are teeth numbers: 1, 16, 17 and 32.

Nerve

Refer to pulp please.

Night guard

A device worn at nights to protect your teeth against grinding. Night guards help reduce tooth fracture, TMJ pain and headaches. There are two types of night guards, generic night guards which you purchase online or from a local pharmacy and custom night guards which your dentist makes for you.

Onlay

A type of crown which is a hybrid between fillings and crowns. Onlays are essentially conservative crowns which protect teeth similar to a crown but are conservative similar to a filling. Onlays are larger than inlays and encompass at least one or more of your outer tooth walls.

Partial Denture

A set of false teeth which replaces some, but not all, of your missing teeth. Partial dentures are held in place by anchoring to your remaining teeth as well as suction against your gum tissue. Partial dentures can be made from different material including metals, acrylic and flexible resin.

Periodontal disease

Refer to gum disease please.

Periodontitis

The more advanced stage of gum disease. Periodontitis is characterized by bone loss, major tooth sensitivity and loose teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis causes your teeth to loosen and fall out. Plus, the resulting infection can spread to the rest of your body and affect your overall health.

Premolar tooth (bicsupid)

Transitional teeth between our front and molar teeth. Premolars have two cusps and are used to crush food particles. They are also the teeth most commonly removed for braces treatment. We have 8 total bisupids, teeth numbers: 4, 5, 12, 13, 20, 21, 28 and 29.

Pulp (nerve)

The innermost tooth layer which lies underneath your dentin. Your tooth pulp contains nerves and blood vessels. When your tooth pulp becomes damaged this results in a toothache. Once this happens, you require a root canal treatment or must remove the tooth.

Pulpotomy

Pulpotomy is the equivalent of a baby root canal. It entails removing the nerve structure from infected baby teeth. Performing a pulpotomy eliminates toothache while allowing your child to keep the tooth itself in order to prevent potential orthodontic complications.

Root canal treatment

A procedure to remove infected tooth nerve to eliminate pain and infection. During root canal treatment your dentist will disinfect your tooth and replace the missing nerve with sterile material known as Gutta Percha. Root canal treatment eliminates pain and infection and allows you to keep the tooth.

Scaling & root planning

Refer to deep cleaning please.

Sealant

A preventive treatment used to protect children’s teeth. Dental sealants are placed on teeth with deep groves, typically molars, to protect them against tooth decay and infection. Sealants are very effective and safe and do not require any tooth structure removal.

Sedation

Techniques used to calm patients with anxiety during dental treatment. There are many different sedation techniques in dentistry such as Nitrous Oxide, oral conscious sedation, IV sedation and general anesthesia.

Silver filling

Refer to Amalgam please.

Simple cleaning

A dental cleaning performed in absence of gum disease. Simple cleanings typically entail basic tooth scraping and polishing, occasionally with Fluoride treatment. Most people require a simple cleaning once every 6 months, although if you’re suffering from gum disease you need one every 3 to 4 months.

Third molar

Refer to wisdom tooth please.

White filling

Refer to composite resin please.

Wisdom tooth (third molar)

Tooth which is located all the way in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth start erupting in your late teens or twenties. Not everyone has wisdom teeth. For those that do, there’s a high probability that you have to remove these teeth. Otherwise, they will cause pain, swelling and infection.

Oceansight Dental & Implants

General, Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry

Office of Ali John Jazayeri

106 S Ola Vista

San Clemente, CA 92672


back to the top
EnglishSpanishPersianRussianFrench