A dental inlay/onlay is needed when a filling, cavity or tooth fracture encompasses one or more cusps. In lieu of cutting down the entire tooth for a dental crown, a dental inlay is an excellent option for a more conservative restoration.
In our office, if at least two solid cusps remain, a dental onlay is fabricated to restore the tooth to optimal form and function. The procedure involves:
1. Numbing the tooth
2. Preparing the tooth
3. Scanning/designing/milling the restoration
4. Cementing the restoration/adjusting as needed
In most offices, a tooth with any compromised cusps is treated with a crown. However, our office prefers to use our technology to create same day dental onlays that conserve tooth structure and optimize the long term health of the tooth.
Many patients asks why they are not able to have a filling in these instances. The reasoning is that any tooth with more than 1/3 of the tooth compromised is at an increased risk of fracturing. If a filling is placed when a dental onlay is more ideal, we can expect the filling to break easily or the remaining tooth to break due to the compromised structure.