What Are the Differences Between Inlays & Onlays?

What Are the Differences Between Inlays & Onlays?

Oct 01, 2021

Generally, the best way to fix a fractured or decayed tooth was the use of dental fillings or crowns. However, it was discovered that when the decay has eaten too deep into the tooth, a filling is not well-supported and is likely to fall out. Dental crowns on the other hand are intrusive and, in some cases, may cover up the tooth more than is necessary. However, inlays and onlays are thought to be perfect for use when a tooth is too damaged to support a filling but not severely to the point of needing a crown

But what exactly are dental inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are referred to as indirect dental restorations, since they are prepared outside your mouth, in a lab. Both come as custom solid pieces that are molded and fitted into the chewing area of the damaged tooth. Their purpose is generally the same but what distinguishes the them is the part and amount of tooth they cover. Different materials are used to prepare both inlays and onlays near you, and they include gold, composite and porcelain. Several factors will influence the type of material used such as cost, location of the tooth and durability.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Getting inlays and onlays at a dental clinic in Columbia, SC, offers you a number of benefits. This treatment is thought to increase the strength of a damaged tooth by up to 75%. They are less likely to fracture or damage like traditional fillings making them a great investment for your oral health. Every patient also gets a custom-fit to match the structure and shape of their tooth, which makes them aesthetically pleasing. With proper care and depending on your risk of fracture, you can expect inlays and onlays to last up to 30 years.

Differences Between Inlays and Onlays

Inlays Repair Surface of Tooth

Inlays are used to repair damage on the surface of the tooth. Their use is largely limited to around the biting surface of the tooth. A dentist will take an impression of the affected area and send it to the lab for production. The inlay produced should perfectly fit into the hollowed-out cavity and if possible, will be closely matched to the color of your teeth. Once in place, an inlay is barely noticeable. This option is used when your dentist thinks that the tooth requires extra support and strength that a filling may not provide.

Onlays Repair Larger Areas of Tooth

Onlays which are sometimes also called partial crowns are used when the damage affects a larger portion of the tooth. Their use extends beyond the chewing surface to the cusps on the tooth. They are great alternative to dental crowns as they help save more tooth. Only the diseased of damaged part of the tooth has to be removed to apply onlays, unlike in crowns where even the healthy part of the tooth has to be trimmed and shaped.

Onlays are a great choice when a cavity is too big, making the tooth incapable of supporting traditional fillings. They are also used on teeth that are already weak due to cracks or fractures. Using onlays offers your teeth extra strength while still protecting the damaged area.

Can Kids Use Inlays and Onlays?

Onlays and inlays are not only used in adults, pediatric dentists in Columbia also use them to help manage cavities and decay in children. The procedure is fairly simple and can be comfortably tolerated by most children. Your pediatric dentist 29223 can use sedation to help mask any discomfort associated with the procedure.

If you or your child are suffering from cavities or a fractured tooth, you can visit We Care Dental SC where Dr. Amy Ellis Green will evaluate your situation to see if you are fit to get inlays or onlays. Also, if you had previously had tooth fillings and they are damaged or missing, the emergency pediatric dentist in Columbia could help you by taking you through the process or removing the fillings and replacing them with inlays or onlays.