Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

Illustration of inlay and onlay

Inlays and Onlays

When decay affects the chewing surface of a molar, a filling may be insufficient to restore the tooth. 

If the damage is not extensive enough to warrant a crown, an inlay or onlay may be the best solution.

What makes these restorations special?

Illustration of inlay and onlay

Durable Protection for Damaged Teeth

Relieve Discomfort and Restore Health

Decay can make teeth extra sensitive and eventually lead to tooth loss. An inlay or onlay can repair the tooth, alleviating sensitivity and preventing further decay.

More Conservative than Crowns

Crowns require your dentist to remove a significant portion of the tooth to accommodate the restoration. As an intermediate step between fillings and crowns, an inlay or onlay requires only a small amount of enamel removal.

Beautiful, Natural-Looking Results

Inlays and onlays are typically made of medical-grade porcelain, which can be shade-matched to blend seamlessly into your smile. Porcelain mimics the sheen of natural enamel and can strengthen a molar by up to 75 percent.

Illustration of inlay and onlay placement Illustration of inlay and onlay placement

Having Tooth Decay Is Nothing to Be Ashamed of

Demonstration of difference between inlay and onlay Demonstration of difference between inlay and onlay

Will Insurance Cover an Inlay or Onlay?

The price of an inlay or onlay generally ranges from $650 to $1,200 per tooth without coverage. However, since inlays and onlays primarily serve a practical purpose, many insurance plans cover part or all of the costs associated with the procedure. Out-of-pocket costs for insured patients range from $40 to $100 for a porcelain restoration. The overall cost will ultimately vary depending on the type of material used, the extent of damage or decay, and the dentist’s level of expertise.

 
Your dentist will simply remove any compromised tissue before placing the restoration.

During the Procedure, Your Dentist Will...

Your dentist will simply remove any compromised tissue before placing the restoration.

Numb the Tooth

Administer a local anesthetic to numb the area for a more comfortable experience

Clear Out Decay

Remove compromised tissue to eliminate all damaged areas and bacteria

Clean the Area

Thoroughly clean and dry the tooth to ensure that no bacteria are trapped underneath the restoration

Take Impressions

Take impressions of the tooth, which will serve as the basis of the customized restoration

Revise Fit

Check the fit of the restoration to ensure your bite is balanced and comfortable

Attach Restoration

Bond the inlay or onlay to your tooth, restoring function and aesthetics

A One-Visit Procedure with CAD/CAM

Inlays and onlays can be expertly fabricated in a laboratory or milled using CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) technology to blend with your smile for beautiful, natural-looking results. With CAD/CAM technology, such as CEREC®, your dentist can design and craft a custom inlay or onlay in a single visit.

This system combines advanced computer software, a 3-D scanner, and an in-office milling unit. This means less time spent in the dentist’s chair, as well as a faster, more convenient solution. Inlays and onlays require no additional downtime, so you can leave the office with fully restored dental function.

Simple Care for a Long-Lasting Restoration

Amalgam dental fillings expand and contract with temperature fluctuations, which can cause the tooth to weaken or fracture. Small cracks can harbor bacteria and result in tooth decay, or even extend beneath the gumline and require extraction. In contrast, porcelain inlays and onlays do not change size or shape with varying temperatures. Their structure makes them a more stable solution in the long-term.

Daily at-home care for inlays and onlays is no different than that of healthy, natural teeth. You should brush and floss daily and visit the dentist for biannual checkups to ensure your restoration is strong and secure. Should your inlay or onlay become loose, painful, crack, or fall out completely, contact your dentist as soon as possible to schedule a visit.

A Doctor Can Find the Right Solution

Tooth decay can only become worse without prompt treatment. If you are not attending biannual checkups, or if you are experiencing symptoms of tooth decay, schedule a visit with your doctor!

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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Charlotte Office

135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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