Inlays & Onlays

Our Florissant Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment

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From teeth cleanings and dental exams to more extensive dental treatments, it’s our goal here at the practice of Paul S. Herrin, DDS to provide all of our patients in and around Florissant, MO with the ability to attain a healthier smile. We’re proud to supply a wide array of effective dental treatments for the benefit of our patients. One of these great, yet lesser-known, treatments that we offer is our placement of dental inlays and onlays.

What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

Dental inlays and onlays are restorations that are used to repair rear teeth that have mild-to-moderate decay or have fractures that aren’t bad enough to require a dental crown. Typically, those who require inlay or onlay work have too much damage to the tooth structure to be fixed with a simple filling, but still have enough healthy tooth structure left to not need a crown.

While dental inlays are similar and follow the same basic procedure, there’s still a difference between the two. A dental inlay essentially works like a filling and fits in between the cusps (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and can cover multiple cusps or the entire biting surface of the tooth.

The Dental Inlay and Onlay Procedure

The dental inlay and onlay treatment will take two appointments that will require your Florissant dentist, Dr. Herrin, to numb the decayed or damaged area and treat it with local anesthetic. The decay or damage will be removed via drilling so that it’ll be prepared for the inlay or onlay. With a small tray that’s filled with dental putty, your dentist will take a mold, or impression, of the damaged tooth. This impression will be sent to the dental lab, where the dental inlay or onlay is created to precisely fit your tooth. However, this will take some time, which is why the dentist will create a temporary restoration to protect your tooth until you come back for your next appointment.

During your second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary restoration and replace it with an inlay or onlay that’s typically made from porcelain, though it can also be made with composite resin or gold. Dr. Herrin will make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly and when it does, it will be bonded onto your tooth with a strong resin adhesive. The inlay or onlay will then be polished to ensure a smooth and great-looking finish.

The Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays

While metal fillings may be offered in some cases where a dental inlay or onlay can be used, inlays and onlays provide many great benefits that include the following:

  • Dental inlays and onlays can strengthen teeth by up to a whopping 75 percent! This is a big increase from metal fillings, which typically only increase the strength of teeth up to 50 percent.
  • They’ll prolong a tooth’s life and prevent a patient from needing more dental treatment in the future.
  • Inlays and onlays are made from tough materials, making them durable and capable of lasting up to 30 years.
  • They’re aesthetically pleasing since they’re made of a tooth-colored material.

Visit Your Florissant Dentist!

If you think that you may be in need of dental inlays and onlays or you’re just looking for teeth cleanings and dental exams, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your Florissant dentist. To do so, feel free to give us a call at (314) 921-0070. Alternatively, you can fill out our online appointment request form. We hope to see you soon and help you attain a healthier smile!


  • PAUL S. HERRIN, D.D.S. - 395 Derhake Rd., Florissant, MO 63031 Phone: 314-921-0070 Fax: 314-921-7506

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