cosmetic inlays & onlays

Your confident smile is our goal.  To get it you’ll need healthy teeth and healthy gums, and you’ll need a dentist with cosmetic dentistry expertise – to get the shape, position, and color of your teeth just right for you.  Whether you need porcelain veneers or a full-mouth restoration, Dr. Forbes and the team at Capital Dental Design in Richmond can help you every step of the way.

Inlays and Onlays in Richmond, VA

There are three primary treatment choices when teeth have significant decay: composite fillings, crowns, and inlays/onlays. Composite fillings are recommended when tooth decay is in only in initial stages.  These fillings are comprised of resin, which is put into a newly drilled and properly cleaned cavity, and then a layer is used to dry it.  It is necessary for fillings to be small, because when fillings are too large, they can crack, which can unfortunately lead to a root canal. Crowns are used when most of the tooth has been damaged. The damaged parts of the tooth are removed, and then shaped to allow for a porcelain crown to be placed on top of it, so the mouth’s appearance and the ability to chew food are maintained. At Capital Dental Design, crowns are always an option, but our goal is always to protect and maintain as much of the original tooth structure as is possible.

When the amount of tooth-damage is somewhere between minimal and maximum decay Inlays and onlays are the ideal choice. As with crowns, they are created in a dental lab to fit the size of the holes that need addressing and are specifically shaped for your tooth.  As with fillings, they allow for the bulk of the tooth structure to be maintained. In most of the cases where less than 50 percent of the tooth needs to be replaced, we will suggest inlays or inlays.

To learn more about inlays and onlays, please refer to the following, or schedule an appointment today. We proudly serve patients throughout Richmond and the surrounding area, including neighborhoods like Southampton, Stratford Hills, Westover Hills, Bon Air, Libbie and Grove, Church Hill, The Fan, Westham, Museum District, and Mooreland Farms.

At Capital Dental Design, we are committed to providing you with effective, considerate care and helping you get the bright, beautiful smile you have always wanted!

Inlay and Onlay Process

The inlay and only process will begin with an initial consultation, during which Dr. Forbes will evaluate and scan your mouth to determine if inlays and onlys are the right treatment option for you. If so, Dr. Forbes will prep the affected tooth, and a mold of the area we intend to replace is taken.  A temporary putty to protect this area from bacteria and further decay may be used. The mold is then sent to a lab, where the appropriate inlay or onlay will be fabricated. Our ceramicists are masterful at sculpting lifelike inlays and onlays. When your inlay and onlay is done, you will return for the insert to be bonded to your teeth. For an inlay, we place the insert between the cusps of your teeth, and for an onlay one cusp or possibly the entire biting surface of the tooth will be covered by the insert.

Although the inlay and only process is generally painless, a local anesthetic and/or dental sedation is available to ensure you experience minimal discomfort and are able to remain relaxed while the procedure is performed.

Advantages of Inlays & Onlays

There are several unique and important advantages to inlays and onlays, which include the following:

  • Treats tooth decay while still preserving the structure of your teeth, which reduces your risk of suffering structural damage or cracks in the future
  • Can be a better fit than a crown or filling
  • Easier to clean
  • Less prone to damage
  • Provided you take good care of your teeth and schedule regular dental examinations, your inlays and onlays will last many years
  • Made from high quality material
  • May eliminate tooth loss and/or tooth sensitivity
  • Increases the overall strength of your tooth, which reduces your risk of developing oral health issues in the future

Aftercare Instructions

Fortunately, you will not have to follow special aftercare instructions following placement of your inlays and onlays, although it may be possible that the reason the procedure was necessary in the first place is that you have not been taking proper care of your oral health. Make a habit of brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily and follow a balanced diet that is not overloaded with foods that are sugary or acidic. Additional steps you can take include drinking more water, especially after every meal and using a mouthwash and/or fluoride toothpaste.

Finally, the most important step you can take to preserve your oral health and avoid the need for procedures like inlays and onlays is to schedule a regular examination with us at least twice a year, or with greater regularity if you are at an increased risk of developing oral health issues. These visits ensure that Dr. Forbes can evaluate your oral health and identify issues before they develop into something worse. They also allow us to perform one of our three types of dental exams: a limited exam (for specific concerns), comprehensive exam (thorough examination of your overall oral health followed by treatment recommendations), or our signature exam, which includes the comprehensive exam as well as a full head and neck exam and ideas for a Digital Smile Design.

We Create Confident Smiles

At Capital Dental Design, we help you answer “yes” with confidence.
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Cost of Inlays & Onlays

Several factors will determine the total cost of your inlay and only procedure, but generally an inlay and onlay costs more than fillings but less than crowns. Factors that will impact the total cost include how many teeth require an inlay and onlay, if dental sedation is necessary, and whether the procedure is covered (and if so, how much) by your dental insurance plan. Prior to scheduling any procedure, we will discuss the anticipated costs, verify your benefits (if applicable) to determine out-of-pocket costs, and answer any questions you may have about billing.

If you are not covered under a dental insurance plan, or if you are simply interested in saving money, consider joining the Capital Dental Design Membership Plan. Although we make every effort to keep our services affordable for all patients, joining our membership plan allows us to save you even more money by covering the cost of preventive care such as cleanings, exams, and routine x-rays. We also offer discounts of 10-15% on other dental services offered at our clinic. To learn more about our membership plan, payment options, or anticipated costs, contact our office today!

Call Today to Schedule a Consultation

At Capital Dental Design in Richmond, one of the main things our patients love about us is that we are a patient-centered practice. We treat our patients like family, which means we take the time to understand who you are, your medical and oral health history, and your oral health goals, because doing so allows us to do everything we can to help you and your family reach those goals.

If you have not joined us as a patient yet and/or if you would like to schedule an appointment to determine whether you are a good candidate for inlay and onlays, contact us today online or call us directly at (804) 320-8894.

We are here to brighten your smile and provide you with the personalized care you deserve!