What are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays are a type of dental filling, more specifically known as indirect fillings. They are closely similar to a traditional tooth-colored filling, but typically take longer to restore as they are professionally crafted inside a dental laboratory to precisely match the color and shape of the part of your tooth that needs to be filled. This allows your dental work to be virtually invisible.

The Difference Between Inlays and Onlays

The differences between the two are that inlays are used to fill cavities, chips, or space on the cusps, or bumps, of your teeth. Cusps are the rounded edges that can be seen towards the middle of a tooth. Canine teeth only present one cusp, while certain molars contain more than one cusp. Onlays are different because they are used when one or more cusps require treatment – they cover a larger area. Because of this, onlays are also referred to as partial crowns. The procedure is very similar, the main difference lies in the amount of biting surface of a tooth that will be worked on.

Inlays and onlays are considered as a way to be efficient in keeping as much of your natural tooth as possible. Typically, Dr. Ganji will recommend an inlay or onlay to a patient who either needs too large a tooth-colored filling or a crown. The alternative in this scenario is an inlay or onlay, because either a large filling or crown in this instance would be taking away an unnecessary amount of your tooth’s healthy enamel. Your tooth enamel is important for the tooth’s structure. Onlays allow the dentist to help maintain as much of your tooth as possible.

Inlays and onlays are more durable than dental fillings, often lasting considerably longer. Dr. Ganji prefers using porcelain materials for both tooth-colored fillings and indirect fillings (inlays/onlays). You must maintain proper oral hygiene in order to preserve any dental work for as long as possible.

Don’t Ignore The Signals

Don’t ignore common dental signs that may be pointing towards a specific problems such as tooth sensitivity or toothaches, contact our dental office today @ 310-643-8045 to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup.