Inlays & Onlays


Woman smiling with perfect teethAt Calapooia Family Dental, we specialize in a wide variety of restorations to provide the ideal solution for your individual needs. This includes inlays and onlays, also known as indirect fillings, which are only offered by a select number of dentists. An indirect filling is one of the best options for patients that have moderately-sized cavities and want a conservative restoration.

The Difference Between an Inlay & Onlay


An indirect filling is a pre-molded restoration that we use to restore areas of decay too large for a traditional filling, but not large enough to require a dental crown. For this reason, inlays and onlays are sometimes referred to as partial crowns. An indirect filling is considered an inlay when it is contained within the occlusal (bite) surface of a tooth. An indirect filling is considered an onlay when it extends over one or more cusps to the sides of a tooth.

Inlays and onlays are typically fabricated using one of two materials: gold or porcelain. Gold is best for teeth that need to withstand an extremely powerful bite force, especially if you grind your teeth. Porcelain is best for teeth in your visible smile, especially if you are concerned with cosmetics. Porcelain can be textured and color-match to your enamel, making it virtually indistinguishable for the rest of your tooth.

Procedure for Inlays & Onlays


The inlay/onlay procedure, like most restorations, begins with a comprehensive exam. We use cutting-edge diagnostic technology and techniques to determine the precise extent and location of your tooth decay. Once we decide that an inlay or onlay is the best course of action, we will develop an appropriate treatment plan.

The procedure is usually split up into several appointments. During your first appointment, we will prepare the tooth for your new restoration by removing the decayed material, cleaning out the area, and reshaping the cavity. After your tooth is properly prepared, we will take an impression.

Over the next few weeks, our laboratory technicians will use the impression to fabricate your inlay or onlay. Because the fabrication process takes time, we may provide you with a temporary restoration to protect the tooth. Once your inlay or onlay is ready, we can schedule your final appointment.

During your final appointment, Dr. Summers or Dr. Hagerty will remove the temporary and check the margins of your new restoration. We may need to make some last-minute adjustments to ensure the perfect fit and prevent potential problems with your bite. Your restoration will then be permanently bonded to the tooth using a special adhesive.

Benefits of Inlays & Onlays


Inlays and onlays have become increasingly popular due to their many benefits, some of which include:
•  Conservation: Inlays and onlays allow us to preserve more of your natural tooth, leading to better long term oral health.
•  Durability: Indirect fillings are often more durable than conventional fillings due to the nature of the restoration and a more precise fit.
•  Longevity: With the proper care, your inlay may last upwards of 20 or 30 years. Be sure to schedule routine appointments so we can monitor your restoration for general wear and tear.
•  Aesthetics: A porcelain inlay or onlay will blend in seamlessly with the rest of your tooth. Porcelain even possesses the same light-reflective properties as natural enamel.
•  Convenience: Indirect fillings can be easily maintained with regular brushing and flossing. There will be no need for special appliances and techniques.

Schedule a Consultation


Find out if you qualify for an inlay or onlay! Call (541) 936-9222 to schedule a consultation today!
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