INLAYS AND ONLAYS: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE
Inlays and onlays are two restorative dental treatments that are "laid in" or "laid on" your teeth, to repair teeth that have been damaged by decay, fractures, or wear. They are recommended by dentists because they are a more conservative option than other treatments, such as dental crowns, and can help to preserve the natural tooth structure. Inlays are subtle tooth-coloured restoration which can fill large cavities and repair damaged teeth. They are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, thanks to their natural coloring.
WHAT ARE INLAYS AND ONLAYS?
Inlays and onlays are both made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin, and are custom-made to fit the shape of the damaged tooth. The difference between an inlay and an onlay is the amount of tooth structure that is repaired. An inlay is used to repair a tooth that has been damaged in the center, while an onlay is used to repair a tooth that has been damaged on one or more cusps, or points. Onlays will overlay one or more cusps in order to protect and strengthen the tooth. An inlay or onlay is used in place of a normal filling, when the cavity is big. For even bigger cavities, a crown may be required.
HOW LONG DOES AN INLAY OR ONLAY PROCEDURE TAKE?
The procedure for an inlay or onlay treatment usually takes two visits to the dentist. During the first visit, the dentist will take an impression of the tooth and prepare the surface of the tooth for the inlay or onlay. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the inlay or onlay is custom-made. During the second visit, the dentist will fit the inlay or onlay and make any necessary adjustments. Inlays and onlays are not painful and do not require any anesthesia. The procedure is minimally invasive and should not cause any discomfort. After the treatment, patients should expect to follow up with their dentist for check-ups every six months. In addition, they should brush and floss their teeth twice a day and visit the dentist for regular cleanings.
WHY DID MY DENTIST RECOMMEND AN INLAY OR ONLAY?
Inlays and onlays are recommended for patients who have teeth that are damaged by decay, fractures, or wear. They are typically more affordable than dental crowns and can be used to repair a cavity that is too big to repair with a tooth filling. A dental crown is a cap that covers the entire tooth. Crowns are more invasive and require more tooth structure to be removed in order to fit the crown. If you have any questions about inlays and onlays, or any other dental treatments, please contact our dental team at Woodbourne Dental. They can provide you with more information and help you decide if inlays or onlays are right for you.