Inlays and onlays are custom restorations that are used for repairing teeth that have suffered moderate damage. These treatments serve as somewhat of a middle ground between fillings and full dental crowns. Inlays and onlays are used to repair the chewing surface of a tooth while leaving the remaining structure largely the same. This allows us to preserve more of a tooth’s original structure than when using a dental crown.
Some reasons that a patient may require an inlay or onlay include a particularly deep cavity or an oral injury. An inlay or onlay will restore the tooth’s chewing surface so that is can be used like any healthy tooth. The custom-fit of inlays and onlays allows them to provide the most effective performance possible, and it also helps these restorations to appear more natural.
Inlays and onlays provide the following benefits:
- They allow the overall structure of a tooth to remain intact.
- They add to a tooth’s strength and integrity.
- They restore the health of teeth.
Although inlays and onlays are very similar, there is a major difference between the two. An onlay will cover at least one of the cusps, or points, on the tooth. An onlay can even cover the tooth’s entire chewing surface when necessary. An inlay, on the other hand, will only cover the space between these points. Whether an inlay or an onlay is provided will depend on the amount of damage that the tooth has sustained.
A tooth that has been treated with an inlay or onlay will appear healthy and natural. The restoration can be cared for in the same manner as untreated teeth, and it should remain intact for a very long time if proper dental maintenance is provided consistently.
An inlay or onlay may be the perfect solution for restoring your damaged tooth. Call us today at (239) 437-8900 to make an appointment, and we can determine if an inlay or onlay is right for you.