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Due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic and current restrictions imposed by Governor Inslee and the State of Washington Department of Health, our office will be temporarily closed for all but emergency dental care. This closure is expected to last until May 18th, at which time we expect to resume regular business hours and all patient care. If you are experiencing a dental emergency requiring immediate attention, you may contact Dr. Kay at (206) 915-8020. Thank you for your support and understanding during this challenging time.

Inlays & Onlays



Woman smiling with perfect teethWhen it comes to cavity restorations, most of you are familiar with fillings. However, at Kevin Kay DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we also provide inlays and onlays, which are a better restorative option for larger cavities.

What are Inlays and Onlays?


Unlike dental fillings that are applied directly to your teeth in-office, inlays and onlays are prefabricated in a dental lab or with the help of CEREC software.

Inlays are most like dental fillings in that they are used to repair cavities in the pits and grooves of the teeth. Onlays are placed on more substantial cavities that expand to the cusps or the pointed surface of the teeth.

These restorations are typically used when the damage to your tooth is too extensive for fillings alone to fix, but is not so bad that a crown would be required.

Both inlays and onlays can be created from a variety of materials, including gold, porcelain, and all-resin.

Inlay and Onlay Placement Procedure


Getting an inlay or onlay is very similar to getting a regular filling. The main difference is that inlays and onlays may require you to make two visits if the restoration is being made in a dental office. However, these restorations are much better for your oral health since they require less tooth structure to be filed down as compared to a crown.

At Kevin Kay DDS Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we will first numb the area using a local anesthetic. Then we will use fine dental equipment to remove the decayed portion of your tooth. This is done so that the infection cannot spread deeper into the tooth.

Once the tooth has been prepared, we will use a putty-like material to make an impression of your tooth. This will be sent to a dental lab so that your inlay or onlay can be made. This can take a few weeks.

To protect your exposed tooth from further damage, we will place a temporary filling in your tooth. Once your inlay or onlay has been developed by the lab, we will remove the filling and cement the restoration in place with a resinous substance.

If we are using a CEREC machine, an intraoral camera will scan your tooth and send the digital image to the computer. This will then be adjusted using CAD/CAM software and sent to the CEREC machine so that the inlay or onlay can be milled from a porcelain block. This will ensure you have your inlay or onlay on the same day.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays


Inlay and onlay restorations come with several benefits.
•  Inlays and onlays are more durable and much stronger than a regular filling. They bond to the teeth to provide added stability and can last for several years, if taken good care of.
•  Unlike crowns, inlays and onlays do not require much tooth preparation, and hence, are better for the overall health of your tooth.
•  These restorations also work well when decay is present in tight spaces, like in between teeth and behind molars.
•  Since inlays and onlays are custom-made, they reduce the risk of bacteria getting inside the tooth through any gaps in the restorative work.

If you suffer from cavities, call us now at (425) 738-8476 to schedule an appointment with us, and we will come up with a treatment plan for you.