Treat Broken Teeth Using Safe and Effective Inlays & Onlays 

Having a damaged tooth or one with a cavity can ruin your smile, plus food often becomes trapped inside, leading to concerns such as infections, gum disease, and even tooth decay. Thankfully, you have many options to fix the problem, such as onlays and inlays that can fill the cavity or reconstruct a portion of your tooth. Dr. Anja Nichols can make your tooth as good as new using the latest technology and her extensive expertise at Lifestyle Dentistry, Smyrna, Georgia.

What are Onlays and Inlays?

An inlay is a popular treatment for cavities requiring a more extensive filling than a typical filling but does not warrant a full crown. Made of porcelain, gold, or resin, an inlay fits within the cusps of the tooth’s chewing surface. This treatment involves taking an impression of the tooth and fabricating the restoration. Inlays are recommended for those with extensive decay or fractures. Following Dr. Nichols’ instructions and getting the procedure done is crucial to avoid further damage that could lead to emergency surgery otherwise.

For patients seeking a more advanced approach, CAD/CAM technology allows using porcelain inlays, which are custom-made to fit the tooth perfectly. This technology allows the patient to receive the restoration in one or two visits, depending on whether the porcelain is made in a laboratory setting. Unlike inlays, an onlay replaces a tooth cusp and uses crowns to cover the tooth’s surface. This treatment is effective in preserving the tooth structure.

Whether you need an inlay or onlay depends on the extent of your tooth decay or damage. However, with advancements in technology and materials, both procedures are safe, effective, and provide long-lasting results.

The Different Types of Onlays and Inlays

There are two types of onlays and inlays: direct and indirect. Direct inlays and onlays are crafted on-site by Dr. Nichols, making the process simple and convenient for the patient as it requires only one visit. She begins by removing the tooth’s decayed portion, then applying resin. Afterward, the inlay or onlay is cemented onto the tooth and polished for a natural look. Ceramic is another material used for these dental restorations.

Indirect inlays and onlays, on the other hand, are created off-site in a laboratory, so the procedure requires more time and usually involves two visits. The initial steps are similar to the direct process, with the dentist removing the damaged part of the tooth. Then, an impression will be taken and sent to the lab to fabricate your restoration. The tooth will be fitted with a temporary filling in the meantime. The patient then returns for a second visit, during which the temporary filling is removed, and the fabricated inlay or onlay is cemented in place and polished to match the surrounding teeth.

Finding the Right One for You

Thanks to years of experience, Dr. Nichols can tell whether you need an onlay or inlay based on your circumstances. Please call Lifestyle Dentistry at (678) 884-4494 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Nichols. 

We proudly serve the communities of Mableton, Marietta, Kennesaw, Austell, Brookhaven, and Downtown and Midtown Metro Atlanta. 

Aja Gilmore-Nichols, DDS

Dr. Aja Nichols

Aja Gilmore-Nichols, DDS, attended dental school in Indiana and served in the US Navy for five years before settling in Smyrna, GA. After receiving her Georgia licensure, she worked for ‘corporate dentistry’ and a mobile dental company caring for underserved elementary and middle school children before opening Lifestyle Dentistry in 2016.

Dr. Nichols focuses on the ABCs of dentistry: Airway, Breath, and Cosmetics. With a mission to “do the right things, at the right time, for the right reasons,” she likes to educate her patients so they can make informed decisions. She aims to provide relationship-focused dentistry that helps her patients achieve their dental goals.