Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are types of dental restoration procedures that improve the integrity of a tooth, much like a filling or a crown does. An inlay is made of a solid substance, such as gold, porcelain or a composite resin. When preparing for an inlay, we will first take a mold of the tooth to be restored. The inlay is then created from the mold and formed to fit into your tooth. The difference between this and a filling is that the material is shaped and hardened before it’s placed into the tooth. This is often done instead of a filling when a direct restoration like a filling could cause the tooth to fracture more. Fillings also have a tendency to “shrink” as they harden inside the tooth. In contrast, an inlay does not lose any volume once it’s placed, thereby making the restoration of the tooth more precise.
Onlays undergo the same creation procedures as inlays. First, your dentist will take a mold of the tooth that needs restoration. Your dentist will then shape the material outside of your mouth for your onlay. The biggest difference is that the onlay restores more of the structure of the tooth. The onlay replaces the tooth cusp where it has been worn down by decay or damage. Covering the entire surface of the tooth, a crown is the most commonly-known onlay.
Inlays and onlays are restoration procedures performed to restore your bite and ease the process of chewing as well as prevent further infection of the tooth. If you’re having problems as a result of a decayed or broken tooth, make an appointment today.