Unlike a dental filling, an inlay is a single restoration designed outside the mouth and placed into a prepared tooth, similar to a crown (only smaller.) If the tooth needing repair has a damaged cusp, then the restoration becomes an onlay, wrapping over part of the tooth.
Why might you need an inlay or onlay?
If you have a tooth that’s been filled time and again, then it may be weak and discolored. Old fillings pick up stain at the edges and darken with time. Your dentist may be able to place a smooth, continuous, and tooth-colored onlay to give your tooth a facelift.
You may need an entire onlay or inlay right from the start to repair a tooth with severe damage. Some fillings or fractures may be too large for a filling. Big fillings are prone to breaking on weak or compromised teeth.
On the other hand, the damage may not merit the full coverage of a dental cap. Onlays and inlays are much more conservative, leaving more of your natural tooth in-tact.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
These indirect restorations match teeth in terms of color and flexibility. Onlays and inlays are most commonly made from porcelain or composite resin, helping them blend in seamlessly.
An inlay or onlay is easy to keep clean and maintains a tight seal with your tooth to prevent bacteria from getting in. These restorations are also conservative while retaining strength, making them a great choice for repairing molars.
Contact your dentist for a consultation to learn more about inlays and onlays.
Posted on behalf of:
Mitzi Morris, DMD, PC
1295 Hembree Rd B202
Roswell, GA 30076
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