Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are long-lasting restorations that can fill gaps of missing teeth, close spaces caused by tooth loss, or support dentures. At Swansboro Family Dentistry, we provide these solutions in many forms, including porcelain, gold alloys (gold composite), and metal. This post will delve into the difference between dental inlays vs. onlays, so you know which restoration is best for your needs.
What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?
Dental inlays are used to fill small gaps or spaces within a tooth. An onlay is an indirect restoration of the chewing surface of teeth, which we can make out of porcelain (ceramic) or metal alloy. Onlays provide better strength than inlays and often benefit people with larger missing areas because they support crowns above them.
The difference between dental inlays vs. onlays isn't just size - there's also shape! Dental inlays tend to fit over only one cusp, while dental onlays cover two or more cusps depending on how many surfaces need to be covered by the restoration material. Additionally, dental inlays are very conservative restorations, while onlays require more tooth preparation.
When should I get a dental inlay or onlay?
Both dental inlays and onlays can be used to restore teeth that have been damaged or weakened. They're especially effective for people with a high risk of further tooth loss because they require minimal removal of the natural tooth enamel before being placed, meaning there's less chance of harming healthy tissue.
These solutions also come in handy when a tooth is cracked or chipped because they can be bonded directly to the tooth. This seals up the crack and prevents further damage from occurring. Also, if you have a cavity that is too large, an inlay or onlay can be used to repair it.
Both dental inlays and onlays are very durable restorations, which means they last a long time! These solutions often outlive the teeth themselves and other options like crowns. However, wearing down from regular use is still possible depending on the material used, so it's important to keep up with your regular dental checkups and cleanings. Both of these solutions are long-lasting, natural-looking solutions that can restore your smile while preserving as much of your healthy tooth tissue as possible.
Benefits of having either type of treatment done
Both dental inlays and onlays are very beneficial solutions that restore your teeth to their former glory. Whether you have a small gap or more considerable tooth loss, restoring this area keeps the surrounding teeth from shifting and allows them to stay strong.
Dental inlays also help prevent further damage since they protect exposed dentin surfaces (the sensitive layer underneath the enamel) while trapping bacteria between the exposed surface of the tooth and the restoration itself. This means fewer cavities! On average, both types of repairs last about a decade with good oral hygiene habits before needing replacement due to wear over time.
If you're not sure which restoration is best for you, our team of experts at Swansboro Family Dentistry can help! We'll work with you to choose the perfect solution for your needs and will walk you through the entire process from start to finish. Call us at 910-421-3022 and schedule an appointment today and let us help you get back to smiling with confidence!