What are Inlays and Onlays, and Which Option Best Suits Your Needs?

What are Inlays and Onlays, and Which Option Best Suits Your Needs?

Nov 01, 2022

Have you heard about dental fillings or crowns to fix cavities or extensive decay? You might express surprise when your dentist suggests inlays and Onlays as alternatives for restoring decayed or damaged teeth.

If dental fillings help fix minor cavities and crowns are helpful; if you have deeper decay or damage that needs covering up, you may come across situations when a dental filling isn’t appropriate for the restoration, and a dental crown is too excessive or intrusive. In such cases, the dentist suggests dental inlays and Onlays because these restorations are appropriate to fix minor or substantial tooth damage. Dental inlays and Onlays are better than dental fillings but not as intrusive as crowns that require reshaping the tooth structure before getting it fixed.

Differences between Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays help fill cavities and holes in a tooth between the cusps. However, besides filling cavities, an Onlay also works on a more significant site by covering the cusps. Onlays are similar to dental crowns but function without covering the entire tooth surface. Similar materials help make these restorations serve similar purposes while covering different areas of the tooth to provide adequate protection when tooth decay occurs.

In Dentistry, What Are Inlays and Onlays?

If you have a damaged tooth due to decay, inlays are fitted into the tooth surface after molding them in a dental laboratory. Fabricating inlays requires impressions of the affected areas of your tooth for a dental lab. Inlays fit appropriately into the hole in your tooth without affecting the cusps. The dentist near you takes impressions of the tooth to match the color of the best possible with your remaining teeth. Porcelain or composite material helps make inlays more durable than conventional fillings.

The material used for making inlays makes the restoration more expensive and comes with additional durability. Dentists consider inlays when fillings are inappropriate to strengthen the surrounding tooth, and the hole in your tooth requires more robust materials to fortify it.

If your tooth has damaged cusps along with the biting surface, you find it beneficial when the dentist in 91710 suggests an Onlay. Dentists recommend Onlays when you have extensive cavities that are too large to fill with standard filling materials like a silver amalgam of the tooth is prone to cracking due to weakness. Onlays help shore up the tooth’s strength besides protecting the decaying area. Unlike inlays, the area covered by Onlays includes the cusps and the spaces between them.

Preparing for Dental Inlays and Onlays

The preparation for dental inlays and Onlays is similar to receiving a filling. The dentist drills out the decay after giving you local anesthesia and temporary restorations over the tooth for protection as impressions of the tooth are forwarded to the dental lab for fabrication. You must revisit the dentist for placement of the restoration after the dental laboratory returns it.

When receiving dental Onlays, a significant portion of your tooth structure is preserved, unlike when getting dental crowns that require considerable tooth structure removal. Onlays are also made from porcelain or composite resin called partial crowns because they function similarly without covering the entire tooth.

The Lifespan of Inlays and Onlays

Durability is the most significant feature of inlays and Onlays because you can expect them to last for five years to three decades. However, kindly do not assume the dentist restoring your teeth will provide any guarantees regarding their durability. Tooth restorations depend on your care if you intend to have them for their lifespan.

If improperly cared for, inlays and Onlays sustain damage and fail earlier than expected. In addition, your dental hygiene practices considerably affect the lifespan of inlays and Onlays after you have them on your teeth. Therefore, you must maintain excellent dental hygiene by brushing your teeth twice, flossing them once daily, and adhering to your dentist’s recommendations stringently. Incorporating six monthly visits to your dentist to verify the stability and health of the restorations is also necessary to ensure they stay firmly in place.

You can also adopt measures to reduce the wear and tear of these restorations by considering night guards if bruxism affects you when sleeping or when eating chewy and complex foods that can damage these restorations and affect their longevity. While dentists do not provide any firm numbers on their longevity, you can expect them to stay longer depending on your care and overall oral health.

Get Inlays and Onlays Near You

Ramona Dentistry of Chino suggests inlays and Onlays if fillings for a cavity are insufficient or too extensive for a damaged tooth. If you confront such issues, you find it beneficial to get Inlays and Onlays in Chino from our practice by arranging a meeting with us to decide what best suits your needs.