Inlays and onlays are among the various methods of dental restoration available today. They are considered as the more conservative alternatives for dental crowns. Sometimes referred to as indirect fillings, they provide a strong, well-fitting, and long-lasting solution to tooth damages like tooth decay. The results are both aesthetic and functional.
Frequently used in lieu of the traditional dental filling for tooth structural damage repair, onlays and inlays offer a more practical solution today. Dental fillings may simply be molded into their proper place in your mouth by your dentist during a regular dental visit. Inlays and onlays, on the other hand, are indirectly made in a dental laboratory, after which they are fitted, and then bonded to the affected tooth or teeth by the dentist.
The procedure is called an inlay if the material is applied inside the center of the teeth. It is called an onlay if the damage extends to the surface of the teeth, and the treatment would require including a tooth cusp (point) or more, or the entire biting surface.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Excellent Fit – The procedure can be considered as a conservative solution since it aims to preserve as much of the healthy natural teeth as possible. It is a recommended option for patients who only have moderate to minimal tooth decay, or tooth damage that reaches only up to the flossing area. Inlays and onlays, in this case, offer a better alternative to a full-coverage crown.
Flexible Tooth Color – You can have the color match the natural color of your teeth. In addition, you can expect inlays and onlays to maintain their color for a long time, unlike resin fillings that easily fade.
Tooth Structure Protection – Your healthy tooth structure is preserved, while the damaged areas are restored. Thus, you are assured of functional longevity.
Easy Cleaning – Since the fit is measured at all angles with minimal preparation required, you will find your teeth easier to clean than when using full coverage options such as dental crowns. While composite fillings tend to shrink during the process of cutting, pre-fabricated gold or porcelain onlays and inlays will not.
Tight Space Fulfillment – For cavities in-between teeth, an inlay is a better option instead of a direct composite filling. An inlay can better seal the tooth, keeping bacteria out in the process. It is easier to clean as well, is longer lasting, and does not stain.
Stability and Strength – The procedure is definitely a solid solution to remedy tooth decay. With their durable materials and superior fit, inlays and onlays are a good option that not only repairs damaged teeth, but strengthens them too.
Protection for Weak Tooth – The procedure does not involve a complete tooth reshaping, but it provides due protection for the weaker regions of the tooth.