*Both available as same-day procedures through Cerec technology!
To put it simply, a Dental Inlay, or Onlay, is bigger than a filling, but smaller than a crown. It is the solution to a problem that calls for something more than a simple tooth fillings without the dramatic procedure of replacing a damaged tooth with a crown. Dental inlays are used to repair decaying teeth that do not require extensive bridgework, or to replace older metal fillings. Most dental inlays are composed of porcelain, though some can be made from gold or composite resin. Patients that desire a natural smile often request porcelain inlays in lieu of metal fillings, since they are highly undetectable.
There are many benefits that come with the installation of dental inlays. One of the most important benefits is the fact that customized, bonded inlays do not leave room for bacteria to enter the tooth area. Since dentists are able to closely adhere inlays to the tooth, the possibility of further decay is greatly diminished.
While metal fillings can contract and expand according to food temperature, dental inlays are not subject to either hot or cold food conditions. In addition, dental inlays allow a dentist to preserve a larger amount of a patient's natural tooth. When metal fillings are used, a larger portion of the tooth must be eliminated.
In addition, inlays last up to thirty years, which is significantly longer than any other type of filling. Due to their longevity and durability, the placement of inlays often prevents the need for further dental work at a later time. Another important aspect of inlays is the fact that they can strengthen teeth up to seventy percent, which often prevents future tooth breakage or loss.
Learn more about Cerec inlays.
Made of a strong, natural-looking material, such as porcelain, onlays are larger restorations, extending over one or more sides of your tooth, and can be used similar to a crown or cap. A conservative tooth restoration that requires far less tooth removal than its metal counterpart, an onlay increases tooth strength and provides enduring protection for the tooth.
Unlike metal fillings, an onlay can often be used to repair only the damaged portion of the tooth, leaving much more of the original tooth structure intact.
Recovery from the preparation for the temporary onlays as well as the bonding of the final restoration are similar to that of having a cavity filled. The patient may experience some discomfort or tenderness in the area. Ibuprofen can reduce the symptoms.
While complications from an inlay are unlikely, it is possible that the tooth preparation may take the dentist very close to the nerve of the tooth. This may result in some sensitivity, and may disturb the nerves so that a root canal is required.
Am I a Candidate
If you have a cavity that extends beyond or over the cusp of your tooth, or if you have a failing metal amalgam or partial crown that covers one or more cusp(s) of your tooth, you are a candidate for an onlay.
Learn about cerec inlay