Best Bonding, Inlays and Onlays in Olympia, WA

Inlays and Onlays

Even with a good oral care routine, sometimes small imperfections can find a way into your smile. However, if the idea of getting veneers is too much or teeth whitening doesn’t (or cannot) give you the results you’re looking for, dental bonding acts as a fantastic happy medium. Not only is treatment non-invasive and affordable, but the process is quick and painless. If you have small chips, cracks, stains, and even gaps in your smile, call our dental team today to set up your next appointment!

Many times, we hear from new patients that when they left other dental offices, they had more questions than answers. As a valued patient, every question and concern you have is important and each will be answered to your satisfaction.

Partial crowns, often referred to as onlay’s, are a type of dental restoration or porcelain filling that covers one or more cusps of your tooth. Onlay’s are also made of porcelain by a lab and take two appointments to complete. An inlay is like a dental filling, but the restoration is made of porcelain by a lab and is placed within the cusps on a tooth’s chewing surface. These restorations are much more conservative than crowns and can be imperceptible from your natural tooth. However, the use of onlays and inlays are limited to very specific situations and are not as common as a dental crown.

Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that utilizes composite resin material to restore teeth that have become cosmetically damaged in some way. The material is incredibly strong, even if it isn’t quite as durable as your natural enamel. However, it can be very easily color-matched so that it effectively blends in with your existing teeth without anyone being the wiser.

Dental bonding is actually quite similar to tooth-colored fillings in that they use the same material. The difference is tooth-colored fillings are used to restore teeth damaged by cavities (and usually replace the need for metal-colored fillings). Dental bonding is purely a cosmetic treatment and can be used on healthy teeth that have experienced normal wear and tear or minor issues.

Candidates for dental bonding should not have any existing dental problems that should be addressed first (i.e. tooth decay, gum disease). If your smile is healthy, then you are likely a candidate for dental bonding if you have cosmetic concerns you’d like to handle. We often recommend dental bonding for the following imperfections:

  • Chips
  • Cracks
  • Tough stains
  • Small gaps
  • Very small or malformed teeth

During your appointment, we’ll discuss your smile goals with you one-on-one in order to help you determine the best treatment for your needs. This may include dental bonding, another service, or a combination of the two.

While the length of your treatment will vary depending on how many teeth you need to address, it takes anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes to treat a single tooth. We start by using a shade guide to select a composite resin material that matches your existing teeth as closely as possible. We’ll then etch a small area of your tooth so that a conditioning liquid can be applied. This makes the bonding material stick to the tooth more easily.

From there, the resin material is applied to your tooth, carefully molded, then smoothed to the desired shape. Once we’re finished shaping the resin, we can cure it using a special light that hardens within seconds. After making any final adjustments, we’ll polish the tooth so it shines just like your neighboring teeth.

You may not realize how much of an impact smile imperfections can have on your confidence until you’ve developed them. If you find yourself hiding your smile out of concern that others around you will notice them, dental bonding can be quite beneficial to your confidence and self-esteem day-to-day. You just may be surprised by how you feel when you’re able to express yourself to the fullest, whether you’re with friends, family members, coworkers, or people you’re meeting for the very first time.

An inlay is a lab fabricated porcelain filling that fits into the grooves of a tooth and do not extend over the cusps of tooth. The patient is numbed using a local anesthetic and the dentist drills the tooth to remove and clean out the decay in the tooth. This is one of the restorative methods used to repair a tooth after it sustains harm from injury or decay that does not affect the cusps of the tooth. The dentist takes an impression and sends it to a laboratory where the inlay is made.

Inlays are manufactured from porcelain or composite resin material matching the color of the tooth and provide almost invisible dental restoration while repairing the chewing surface. Dental inlays are generally more durable than regular fillings made from composite or amalgam.

Onlays also fit inside the tooth but extend onto the chewing surface of a back tooth to replace one or more cusps. In the past, onlays were made only of gold, but like inlays, more and more patients request a tooth-colored onlay. Making the onlay of ceramic/porcelain allows the restoration to be bonded to the tooth.

This bonding process may actually improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the onlay to the tooth. Sometimes It is difficult to determine when inlays or onlays can be used instead of crowns or caps. But, you are in great hands at Woodland Trails Dentistry as our dentists will review all your options with you to determine the best dental plan.