Dentist explaining inlays and onlays to patient.

FAQs About Inlays and Onlays

I work with individuals from Briarwood, Great Neck, and other New York locations to provide dental restoration after cavities have taken their toll on teeth. My patients come from all walks of life, but one thing they often have in common is a curiosity about their options for treatment. Our staff firmly believes that patients who are more confident in their procedure choices have better results. We take time to answer any questions that our clients have and discuss any concerns that pop up along the way. In fact, we feel that there is no such thing as a silly question! 

Below are a few common questions that we hear about inlays and onlays.

Do I need to replace my old fillings?

There are a lot of concerns and misunderstandings associated with mercury-related tooth fillings. Some individuals have even claimed that damaged and leaking fillings have led to trouble walking, the feeling of “pins and needles,” panic attacks, vision loss, slurred words, hallucinations, and symptoms similar to MS. According to the FDA, if your current fillings are in good condition and have no decay beneath, there’s no need to rush to have them replaced. However, if you have an allergy or sensitivity to mercury or other metals, or if you have evidence that your current fillings are failing, it may be time to consider alternative treatment options. One of the best ways to detect problem fillings is by keeping up with your regular dental exams. During routine visits, we can identify any weaknesses and spot any cracks or other damage.

Do they hurt?

Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, but you can expect an inlay or onlay to feel similar to other types of fillings. When we work on your damaged tooth, we will apply a local anesthetic to prevent you from feeling any unnecessary pain. During the procedure, we will remove your outdated filling and later replace it with a more modern composite. At that point, we can also identify if there is other damage that needs to be removed or treated. After both the removal and refilling, you’ll have the option to take over-the-counter medications to reduce any post-procedure pain. In the unlikely event that your filling area continues to hurt days or weeks after your initial work is done, it’s important that you come in for an evaluation to make sure everything is in place and how it should be.

How long will they last?

Both inlays and onlays are created to last for years. And you’ll be excited that they are there, too. That’s because modern selling options are colored to match the hue of your natural teeth, giving you a long-lasting, natural smile that you’ll love. 

Will they work for me?

Every patient is different, but most individuals who have older fillings or are simply looking for a more modern solution for tooth restoration have great results with onlays and inlays. There are many things to consider when discussing your options, including the extent of your damage and the location of your troublesome tooth. Inlays are appropriate when your tooth is broken, fractured, or decaying but not experiencing a damaged cusp. Onlays are appropriate for more extensive challenges, including damage on your biting surface. In either situation, inlays and onlays help prevent further decay and limit visibility of current issues.

If you have additional questions about inlays, onlays, or treatment options in general, I hope you will speak up by reaching out via phone or filling out a contact form. We would love to chat with you about your current situation and potential changes down the line.