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Inlays & Onlays

example of an onlayWhen a dental injury is too severe for a regular filling but not quite ready for a dental crown, a custom-made inlay or onlay is the logical choice. At Downtown Flagstaff Dental, we look forward to helping you restore your smile’s fullest potential with these high-quality, custom-made restorations. Please give our team a call today here in Flagstaff, AZ if you have any questions, or if you’re ready to schedule an appointment.


What is an inlay/onlay?

Inlays and onlays are bonded to the damaged areas of your teeth in order to correct decay or structural injuries. Inlays are very similar to traditional fillings and are designed to fit within the cusps (tips), while onlays are bigger and extend over one or more cusps altogether. While traditional inlays/onlays were crafted from gold, we primarily use tooth-colored porcelain today for both reliable durability and lifelike aesthetics.


What’s the process for getting a new inlay/onlay like?

New inlays/onlays will typically be completed over the course of two appointments. During the first visit, our doctors will precisely remove the damaged portions of the tooth and prepare it for the new restoration. We’ll capture impressions that will be sent to a laboratory for creation and apply a temporary sealant so that the patient remains comfortable in the interim.

Once the finished inlay or onlay is returned to us from the lab, Dr. Bacon will remove the sealant, make any last-minute adjustments to the restoration to ensure a proper fit, and apply it to the tooth. You’re finished!

While traditional fillings are only likely to restore up to 50% of the natural tooth’s strength, inlays and onlays actually increase this percentage up to 75% because of the way they directly bond to the tooth surface. This means that patients can expect their new, custom restoration to last anywhere from 10-30 years with the help of proper maintenance and personal hygiene!

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