Inlays and Onlays
You have probably heard of dental fillings and crowns when filling dental cavities and tooth decay. However, you may not have known that there are alternatives used to fill cavities and decay called dental inlays and onlays. In most cases, fillings are recommended when the cavities are small, while crowns are used when the cavity or decay is larger and deeper. But there are cases where the fillings may not be enough while the crowns can be considered to be too much. In such scenarios, an inlay or overlay can be the best solution.
Our team of dentists at Smiles of Groton will give you a comprehensive examination and determine the best solution for your case. It is important to seek professional help when it comes to dental solutions to ensure that the safest and most effective option is reached.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
An inlay fills decay and cavities of an affected tooth in the regions between the cusps. On the other hand, an overlay will fill the hollows in those same regions but also cover larger areas of the tooth including the cusps. They can be considered similar to a crown, but the difference is that a crown covers the entire tooth while the onlay does not. Inlays and onlays are made from the same material and play the same role. However, they address different regions of the tooth to offer protection when there is tooth decay or cavities.
How Does An Inlay Work?
When working with inlays, your dentists will mold and fit it into the chewing surface of the affected tooth. When at the office, the dentist makes an inlay using an imprint of the damaged region of your tooth and then sends it to be manufactured in the lab. A dentist recommends using an inlay when they see that fillings will not adequately strengthen your tooth and will need a stronger option to safeguard your tooth.
Inlays generally fit into the cavity of the tooth and will not affect the cusps. Your dentist will work to ensure that the inlay matches the color of your tooth for uniformity. An inlay can be made from porcelain or material that is robust and longer lasting than conventional fillings.
How Does An Onlay Work?
Onlays can sometimes be referred to as partial crowns because they play the same role as a crown but cover a section of the tooth. They will cover the biting surface of the tooth as well as the cusps of the tooth. Your dentist will recommend an onlay when the cavity is too large to be filled with normal amalgam fillings.
An onlay will fortify your damaged teeth and also protect the affected areas. Your dentist will similarly prepare you for placing fillings by first cleaning your hollow part of the tooth. You will be given a temporary onlay as your personalized onlay is being manufactured in the lab. You will then be provided with a permanent onlay once it is ready.
How Long Will Inlays And Onlays Work?
One of the benefits of inlays and onlays is that they are long-lasting, and they can serve you from five years, to up to 30 years. However, longevity will depend on several factors such as dental hygiene and oral care routines.
If you require an inlay or onlay, you can visit us at Smiles of Groton and consult with our experts to get the best solution for your situation. You can call us at to get more details on what to expect when you get an inlay or onlay. We always look to give a personalized experience and treatment to our patients for the best results.