Tooth decay, old fillings, and trauma can weaken the integrity of your teeth. To restore the appearance and function of the teeth, your Walnut Creek dentist will evaluate your needs and recommend the most appropriate restorative solution.

With the remarkable technology and top quality dental materials currently available, it is possible to repair the damage while also enhancing your smile. When the biting surface of a back tooth needs to be restored, your dentist will recommend a restoration based upon the amount of tooth structure that has been lost.

An INLAY is a restoration that fits within the biting surface of the tooth, similar to a traditional filling. Unlike a traditional filling, this restoration is milled from a single piece of high-strength porcelain, or cast from gold. Due to its uniform, homogenous structure, the inlay is more durable than a filling and can withstand much stronger biting forces.

An ONLAY will cover one or more cusps of a back tooth. Though the tooth may have significant structural damage, all surfaces of the tooth may not have been affected. By design, these are smaller, more conservative versions of dental crowns. Unlike full-coverage crowns, an onlay conserves tooth structure because there isn’t a need to remove all of the enamel from the tooth, though the missing portion can be replaced.  Onlays (also known as 3/4 crowns) are recommended when there is sufficient remaining natural tooth structure.

Both inlays and onlays are fabricated from high strength porcelain or gold and permanently cemented onto the tooth.  They may be produced in a dental laboratory, or they may be fabricated in the dental office with the use of the CEREC digital CAD/CAM system where they can be completed in one visit.

According to the status of your dental health, your dentist in Walnut Creek will recommend the inlay or onlay that is most suitable for you. Find out more by calling to schedule your appointment today.