Home » Inlays

A guide to preserving your teeth with dental inlays in Irvine, CA

Why place a full-coverage dental crown when the extent of damage to a tooth doesn’t require so much dental material to restore its structure and health? Tooth Love has common-sense answers to this question in the form of conservative dental inlays and onlays. As traditional restorations, these options preserve a maximum amount of natural, healthy tooth material. The “best” tooth is a natural one, not marred by decay or other trauma. As exceptional as dental materials and techniques have become, there remains no better tooth than the one developed with you and stays healthy. 

Inlays in Irvine, CA

Thanks to modern durable and tooth-like materials and advanced techniques, dentists like Dr. Joanna Jefferson can now rebuild the precise portions of the irrevocably damaged tooth. This approach to restoring teeth is ideal because it minimizes the natural tooth structure that is lost and preserves more tooth material than earlier-generation techniques that drilled out much of the tooth during the restoration process. 

Think of decayed areas as running along a spectrum; smaller holes or cavities may be treated with fillings. Inlays may best serve larger cavities or areas of damage. More extensive damage to the biting surfaces of a tooth and at least one cusp or outer, high pointed edge of the tooth may be repaired ideally with onlays. Dental onlays are also referred to as “partial crowns” because they are the restoration one step down from full-coverage crowns. Full crowns rebuild the tooth portion that is visible above the gum line, the natural white crown. The lab-made crown fits over the top of the natural tooth. This characteristic makes the full crown different from the other, more conservative options listed here. With fillings, inlays, and onlays, the dental material is shaped to fit within the natural tooth. It does not cover the natural tooth in the way that a full crown does. 

What to expect from your inlay 

The process of placing an inlay is no more intensive than a simple filling. The natural tooth is “prepared,” which means any damaged or decayed areas are removed. This step is kind of life-giving your tooth a “fresh start” or a “do-over.” We are rebuilding the tooth with a clean slate. The inlay is then placed. Preparation for the inlay involves shaping the dental material, be it dental ceramic-like porcelain or a composite resin. So, it fits perfectly within the damaged or lost areas of the tooth. All of this is done on a tooth that has been precisely numbed. You won’t feel anything other than happy about the look and feel of your treated tooth afterward! Just care for your inlay-treated tooth like you would a natural tooth, with good hygiene at home and professional care at our practice. 

Schedule your visit by calling (949) 444-5656.