Do I Need a Dental Onlay or Inlay?

When a tooth is damaged or decayed past the point of needing a filling but not quite to the point where it needs a crown, a dental onlay or inlay may be the solution. They both provide a protective coating to the tooth.

Onlays address the damage that covers the entire biting surface of the tooth or one or more of the tooth’s cusps. Inlays fill the area between the cusps. Both restore the strength and beauty of the tooth to its natural state.

Teeth-replacement options

Fillings

Filings typically weaken the tooth because of the drilling that has to occur. With an only or inlay, the tooth is actually strengthened and the procedure increases its chewing force by 50 to 75 percent. Also, less of the tooth structure is compromised. The materials used for these procedures are sturdy and durable and the tooth is not weakened during the installation.

Inlay

An inlay is used to repair the tooth’s surface. The bumps on the back of the tooth, called cusps, can experience decay. If the decay is confined to this area, then an inlay is the perfect option. Ceramics, gold and composite resin are some of the materials that can be used to provide this protective covering. Inlays fix a small area of damage and preserve the healthy tooth.

Onlay

Dental onlays are very similar to inlays, but the main difference is location. While inlays treat the cusps, onlays treat the biting surface of the tooth and can extend to one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns as they restore a much larger area of the tooth than an inlay, but a smaller segment than a crown. Onlays can be made of the same material as inlays (ceramics, gold and composite resin) and provide strength and protection for the tooth.

Differences

The main difference in an inlay and an onlay is the size and location. An inlay is smaller than an onlay, but larger than a filling. An onlay is larger than an inlay, but smaller than a crown. Both provide strength and salvage the tooth. Both are better options than a crown as they save a larger portion of the healthy tooth.

Crowns

If the damage to the tooth is too severe, then an inlay or an onlay will not be an option. In this case, a crown will be the next go-to. If a tooth is weakened due to decay and in danger of breaking or is already cracked, then a crown will be used to hold the tooth together. A crown is like a cap encircling the tooth to offer protection and hold it together.

Protect your teeth and your dental work to extend their life. Schedule regular cleanings, have your bite checked for abnormalities, speak up when there is pain and use your teeth only for eating. It is important to protect your smile and your investment and to do so on a daily basis. Know your options before agreeing to a crown or settling for a filling.

Request an appointment here: https://www.familydentalcarect.com or call Family Dental Care of Rocky Hill at (860) 721-9002 for an appointment in our Rocky Hill office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges.

Recent Posts

6 Tips From Your Emergency Dentist

When it comes to the emergency dentist, there are some steps you can take to avoid making an unnecessary trip there. A dental emergency often means that you will face tooth loss that will be permanent. It can also mean severe pain in the gums or teeth. The good news is that there are ways…

How Long Is The Invisalign Treatment?

Living with crooked teeth can be difficult, but Invisalign® may be an effective solution. This system works to straighten teeth over time with a minimally invasive treatment that allows users to fix their smile without the need for metal braces. While these aligners may help individuals who suffer from crooked teeth, it is wise to…

What To Ask Your Endodontist Before A Root Canal

When the pulp inside of the tooth becomes infected, a root canal is often necessary. In this endodontic treatment, a medical professional removes the diseased parts. Although this is a routine procedure, it is important for patients to understand the process and how to handle the aftermath. Staying informed can allow people to feel more…

What To Look For When Searching For A General Dentist

Choosing the right general dentist can make all the difference, especially for a patient who does not particularly enjoy dental checkups. Daily brushing and flossing are extremely important in keeping teeth healthy and strong, but nothing can replace frequent dental cleanings by a general dentist. In fact, frequent cleanings not only protect the teeth, but…

Recent Posts

Tips From Your Emergency Dentist

6 Tips From Your Emergency Dentist

When it comes to the emergency dentist, there are some steps you can take to avoid making an unnecessary trip there. A dental emergency often means that you will face tooth loss that will be permanent. It can also mean severe pain in the gums or teeth. The good news is that there are ways…

How Long Is The Invisalign Treatment?

How Long Is The Invisalign Treatment?

Living with crooked teeth can be difficult, but Invisalign® may be an effective solution. This system works to straighten teeth over time with a minimally invasive treatment that allows users to fix their smile without the need for metal braces. While these aligners may help individuals who suffer from crooked teeth, it is wise to…