General Family Dentist | Milwaukie, Oak Grove, Gladstone, Happy Valley and Portland, OR

Kevin H. Speer, D.D.S.
2250 SE Oak Grove Blvd.
Milwaukie, OR 97267
Patient Portal


The Ins and Outs of Inlays and Onlays

Rendering of teeth with an inlay, onlay, and crown.

When decay has caused damage to a tooth and repair is needed and is too extensive for a standard filling, crowns aren’t the only option. Inlays and Onlays were developed to limit the need for costly crowns while providing an effective repair solution that could withstand the demands put on your teeth. The process involved in receiving these restorations is similar to that involved in getting a crown but involves the removal of less natural dental material. Oak Grove Dental Center serves the Milwaukee, OR area with dental restoration services under the guidance of Dr. Kevin H Speer.

What Do I Need To Know About Inlays, Onlays, Fillings, and Crowns?

The most basic form of dental repair is known as a filling. Filling material is used to fill in gaps in the tooth, the seal cavities in the tooth. While effect fillings have their limitations, and that’s where Inlays and Onlays step in. These restorations are able to repair more extensive damage than is possible with fillings. They serve as a sort of mid-step between fillings and crowns, making it possible to retain more of your natural tooth than is possible with crowns. Crowns require significant reshaping of your tooth and removal of natural enamel to create a foundation for the repair.

How Do These Restorations Work?

The procedure for getting these restorations is much like that of receiving a filling. Decay is removed, and damaged portions of the tooth are smoothed to prepare them to receive the restoration. Inlays are defined as a repair that is more extensive than a filling but fits between the raised cups on the top of your tooth. Onlays replace even more material and essentially replace the ‘cap’ of the tooth in part or whole.

What Happens When I Receive An Onlay or Inlay?

Once the decay has been taken from your tooth, a model of the space remaining will be made. This can be done either with digital imaging or by filling the space with a gummy substance that will meld to the opening’s shape. The space will then be filled with a temporary filling, and the model sent to a dental lab to be used in the creation of your final onlay or inlay. Once the finished restoration makes it back to our clinic, you’ll be brought back for the final visit for this procedure. At this point, the inlay or onlay will be fixed in place.

Now that you have your restoration in place, taking care of it is a breeze! All that’s needed is to maintain a normal dental hygiene regimen involving brushing, flossing, and an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Proper care ensures they can last for years before needing repair or replacement. Call our offices in Milwaukee, OR today to get started on the repair that can save your tooth and restore natural function. Dr. Kevin H Speer is looking forward to working with and helping you live a long life with beautiful, healthy teeth.

Skip to content