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What Are Inlays and Onlays?

what are inlays and onlays

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Dental inlays and onlays are two methods of restorative dentistry used to repair damage to your teeth. Tooth decay and other damage could significantly affect the structure of your teeth. Inlays and Onlays are two methods dentists use to restore tooth structure in a more conservative way than a crown or metal filling.

Dental Inlays

Dental inlays are used to restore the chewing surface of your tooth. Many dentists still use traditional metal fillings. But, a lot of patients don’t like the appearance of these fillings. Dental inlays fill cavities with a material that matches the color of your tooth. They are made of either porcelain or composite resin that is matched to the color of your tooth.

Inlays are made in a laboratory using the specifications your dentist sends. When it is determined you need a dental inlay, your dentist will take an impression of the affected tooth. The inlay will then be matched to the color of your tooth so it can blend perfectly. With the advances in dentistry from technology, many dental offices can create your inlay right in the office. Whether made in the office or the laboratory, your inlay will be fitted perfectly to your tooth and secured in place.

Dental Onlays

Dental Onlays are used for more extensive damage and repair. They are sometimes referred to as indirect fillings. The restoration performed through an onlay procedure covers the entire biting surface. Like inlays, onlays can be made from resin, porcelain, and even gold. A dental onlay is an alternative option to a crown. It’s also a less expensive option for dental patients.

The goal of the dental onlay is to preserve any part of your tooth that remains healthy. The procedure is the same as that of an inlay. First, your dentist makes an impression of your tooth. Afterwards, the onlay will be made in a laboratory, and then fitted to your tooth. Dental onlays are secure and stable. The material used can even strengthen your damaged tooth.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays work by preserving as much of your natural tooth as possible. The porcelain option for these allows you to fix the damage to your tooth while you keep the natural look. Your inlays and onlays strengthen your teeth. They are durable and sturdy. A primary benefit is that they require the same care as your natural teeth. And, for those who are self-conscious, they eliminate the less attractive look of metal fillings and crowns.

Dental inlays and onlays are a more cost-effective way to restore your tooth to its natural structure. Talk to your dentist about the benefits of inlays and onlays. No matter which option you need, they will help repair your tooth damage.

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