Dental Tips Blog


Inlays and Onlays: When and Why Dentists Use Them

Posted in Fillings

Have you had a piece of your tooth break off?  If so, how would your dentist restore your tooth?  You might think your dentist will use a crown or a filling – but there could be another option.

There are times when your tooth has too much damage to be restored with a filling but not enough damage to need a full crown. In those cases, dental inlays or onlays can be used to restore your tooth.

What are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are similar restorations.  The main difference is they restore different areas of your tooth that are larger than a filling would, but less than a crown.  The areas between the cusps or round edges are filled with an inlay.  Onlays cover one or more cusps on the biting surface of the tooth.  At times, onlays can cover the entire biting surface of the tooth.  In these cases, they are sometimes called a “partial crown” or “three-quarter crown.”  This is because an onlay can cover much of the tooth surface, making it similar to a crown.  Like crowns, onlays and inlays can be made out of gold or tooth colored porcelain.

The great thing about inlays and onlays is that your dentist doesn’t have to remove as much tooth structure to restore them.  If you had a crown placed, your dentist would need to adjust more tooth structure to cover the entire visible surfaces of your tooth.  This is not necessary when inlays or onlays are an option.

Do you have a broken tooth that needs to be restored?  Consider dental inlays or onlays!  Visit your dentist and ask if an inlay or an onlay is the right option.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

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