What Are Inlays and Onlays in Dentistry?

What Are Inlays and Onlays in Dentistry?

Dec 01, 2022

Do you know about dental fillings helping restore minor cavities in the tooth and dental crowns covering extensive damage? You might not have heard about dental inlays and Onlays serving similar purposes to protect your teeth’s permanent damage from cavities or decay.

Generally, fillings help restore teeth with minor cavities, and crowns are helpful to encase them with considerable damage. However, dentists often notice situations where crowns are too significant to cover the damage and fillings are insignificant. When a dentist in Brampton, ON requires a filler or covering for the tooth that seems ‘just right, they suggest inlays and Onlays as suitable to restore the tooth. Inlays are more sizable than fillings but not as intrusive as crowns requiring extensive tooth structure removal before they encase the tooth.

This composition describes inlays and Onlays in dentistry to give you an idea about what they are to ensure you have a clear picture of these oral care options.

Inlays and Onlays Explained

Inlays and Onlays are called indirect fillings in dentistry, indicating they are fabricated outside the mouth to fit the specific shape and size of the cavity. These restorations are primarily used in the molars or premolars if the tooth has experienced extensive damage to support a regular filling. Onlays help restore a damaged tooth if the damage doesn’t need a dental crown to encase the tooth. The crucial contrast between the two is the area and part of the tooth they cover.

Tooth-like material called porcelain helps make inlays and Onlays to improve aesthetics for the patient. Ceramics also helps make inlays and Onlays in recent times.

Dental inlays fit in the chewing area of the tooth and are moulded after getting them fabricated by a dental laboratory to cover tooth damage through injury or decay. Onlays help restore damage and deterioration to the tooth’s cusps besides the biting surface.

Differences between Inlays and Onlays

Inlays are fabricated to reduce damage to the tooth surface when there is damage or decay to the points of the teeth. Various materials help make inlays, including gold, composite resin, and ceramics. Composite resins are matched to the colour of the teeth for excellent aesthetics.

The primary difference between inlays and Onlays is that Onlays cover a larger area than inlays. This is because onlays can cover the tooth’s cusps, while inlays merely protect the space between the cusps.

Onlays are occasionally called partial crowns and are provided to treat large areas of damage. Onlays are used on the tooth’s biting surface and extended to the cusps across the tooth if requested by the patient. Different materials like ceramic, gold, and composite resin assist in making Onlays. Using a composite Onlay is considered an alternative to dental crowns because the treatment helps protect more tooth structure without requiring intensive tooth reshaping.

Are Inlays and Onlays Durable?

The primary benefit of inlays and Onlays in Brampton, ON, is their longevity. Inlays and Onlays can last five to three decades, depending on various factors. However, some restorations can wear faster than others, especially if not cared for and get damaged or fail earlier.

Dentists recommend patients approach their dental hygiene practices stringently after having inlays or Onlays on their teeth. It indicates patients must brush their teeth twice daily, floss once and follow any specific recommendations from the dentist without exceptions. Dental exams and cleanings every six months also become an essential requirement to monitor the health of the restorations and to ensure they are firmly in place.

Besides excellent dental hygiene, patients must make efforts to reduce wear and tear of the inlays and Onlays by preventing damage to the restorations by using protective devices against habits like teeth grinding and jaw clenching, avoiding chewy and complex foods to extend the longevity of the inlays and Onlays because the foods can crack the material and cause the bonds to loosen. Unfortunately, there are no guaranteed numbers for the longevity of inlays and Onlays, but patients can expect them to last longer than fillings or crowns, depending on the care they provide to the teeth and the restorations.

Inlays are better than fillings, that help restores a large cavity and is more durable. Inlays will not expand like amalgam fillings resulting in cracking of the tooth. Inlays strengthen the tooth because they are custom created after taking impressions to fit perfectly in the cavity. On the other hand, Onlays help protect a larger tooth surface, including the cusps, without requiring significant tooth structure removal while remaining durable restorations for the damaged tooth.

Best of all, inlays and Onlays are covered by most dental insurers because they are not considered cosmetic restorations. Inlays and Onlays keep the tooth strong while conserving maximum tooth structure. Therefore it helps if you inquire with your insurance provider about coverage for restorations to have them instead of fillings and crowns if you need them.

Bramwest Dental provides inlays and Onlays in Brampton to cover minor or significant tooth damage. If you are affected by similar issues scheduling a consultation with the practice helps you get durable restorations for your damaged tooth.

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