Inlays and onlays are forms of restorative dentistry. Unlike fillings, inlays and onlays are bonded to the outside of a tooth and are therefore classed as indirect forms of dental restoration.
Sometimes a tooth may be damaged or decayed beyond the point of needing a filling. Inlays and onlays are ideal for repairing larger cavities that might otherwise progress to the point of needing a crown if left untreated.
Where an inlay is a single piece of solid material that is bonded to the outside of a damaged tooth, an onlay covers more of the tooth, including the cusp. Onlays are thus larger than inlays, and cover a greater surface area.
Inlays are often used to fix cavities that are too large to be rectified by fillings, with onlays capable of completing this task across more than one tooth cusp.
Where fillings are insufficient for repairing a cavity, but teeth are not yet at the point of requiring a crown, inlays and onlays may be used. Your dentist may suggest this course of action if they feel there is enough of the damaged tooth or teeth to be preserved.
Appearance-wise, both inlays and outlays can be created to match the colour of your teeth. This is a development that has pleased many patients and has led to a definite surge in the popularity of this treatment.
When inlays and outlays are bonded to the teeth, they can actually improve the strength and resilience of the tooth in question – a practical advantage that shouldn’t be overlooked.
A key benefit of both inlays and onlays is their durability. These treatments are a non-invasive way of restoring function to damaged teeth and can last anywhere between 5 and 30 years.
If you feel that your teeth would benefit from the addition of an inlay or onlay, please contact one of our clinics today. Our friendly and professional team will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and get you booked in for your treatment.