Dental inlays and onlays repair rear teeth that have mild to moderate decay. They also restore teeth that are cracked or fractured when the damage is not severe enough for a crown.
Usually crafted from porcelain, composite resin, or gold, inlays and onlays can be tooth-colored and work well to replace older metal fillings for a more natural looking smile.
How Inlays and Onlays Are Different
Inlays treat teeth with decay or damage on the top surface of the tooth, or to replace damaged or old fillings created from silver amalgam, considered a potential health risk.
Generally speaking, your inlay placement requires two dental visits. Once you receive your permanent inlay, however, you can carry on with your normal activities, despite some mild and brief tenderness.
Onlays treat decay that extends to one or more teeth, in a process very similar to that used for inlays. Your permanent onlay is placed on your tooth and bonded securely with high strength resin.
The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Both inlays and onlays can be crafted from natural looking tooth-colored material for a more natural smile. Because the process does not require extensive removal of the tooth’s structure, more of your natural tooth can be conserved, helping you to avoid further reconstructive work in the future with crowns, implants or bridges. The high strength resin plays an important part as well, since bonding the material to your natural tooth adds strength and prevents bacteria from forming cavities on the tooth. When these benefits are combined, it means much less dental work in your future, which is a benefit we all can appreciate.
- Inlays and onlays do not expand or contract with temperature changes from hot or cold foods. This can cause teeth to weaken or break and is a common occurrence with older-style metal fillings.
- Inlays and onlays help to strengthen teeth up to 75 percent.
- Inlays and onlays are very durable, lasting up to 30 years. Conventional fillings cannot make this claim.
- Porcelain inlays and onlays are often able to be completed in just one visit with CEREC dentistry.
Because of their strength, durability, and beauty, inlays and onlays are an increasingly popular solution for areas of large tooth decay. If you would like to learn more about whether inlays and onlays are right for you, please call us at (248) 656-2020 or contact us online to schedule your initial, consultation with Drs. Doolin, Haddad, and Tironi.