Kennesaw, GA dentist explains inlays and Onlays

You probably know what a filling is and have heard of a dental crown. You might not realize, though, that Dr. Kay Kalantari offers a special type of restoration that fits the need between a filling and a crown. Inlays and onlays can be a great choice for patients in the Kennesaw, GA area who want to preserve as much of their natural dentition as possible.

Partial crowns

Dr. Kalantari uses white composite filling material to repair a tooth with a small to medium sized problem area. When a larger portion of the tooth is compromised, however, it will not support a filling. A large filling could come loose, taking a piece of remaining tooth structure with it.

A crown encircles a compromised tooth with strong porcelain, protecting it from further damage. However, since this cap sits over top, some healthy tooth must be ground down to create a base.

An inlay is meticulously shaped to fit into the contours of a prepared tooth when damage is too large for a filling but does not warrant a full crown. An onlay serves basically the same function, but it extends over the chewing surface of a tooth. Onlays are sometimes called “partial crowns” because they are fabricated and fitted in a similar manner. However, more natural tooth is retained.


How Inlays and Onlays restore smiles in Kennesaw, GA

An inlay or onlay can be appropriate for:

  • A deep cavity in a molar
  • When a corner of a tooth has broken off
  • To replace an old, large filling
  • When decay has developed under an existing restoration

While inlays and onlays are sometimes made of gold, most patients prefer natural-looking porcelain. Dr. Kalantari works with a trusted dental laboratory for expertly crafted and shaded restorations. The dental ceramic is hard and durable, and it resists stains. Since the restoration is bonded in place, it strengthens the tooth. The cement forms a seal that helps to keep harmful bacteria from working their way underneath. With good oral hygiene, the restored tooth may last a lifetime.