inlays onlays difference

What’s the Difference between Onlays and Inlays?

Restoring damaged or decayed teeth are crucial for oral health, function, and smile. Dental restorations commonly used by dentists are crowns, veneers, and fillings. However, these may not be ideal for repairing and strengthening some teeth. In such a situation, the dentist will recommend using Inlay and onlay restorations. Read on for more about these restorations.

What Are Inlays and Onlays?

When you have a small cavity, a dentist at the family dentistry in Phoenix, AZ, will repair it with tooth fillings. They will fix the cavity with a dental crown, whether deep or large. However, a filling may be inadequate to repair the tooth, and the crown may be too much. Therefore, the dentist will use ideal restorations to repair the tooth, known as inlays and onlays.

Dental inlays are restorations used to fill in cavities between tooth cusps. They are fabricated and placed into the chewing surface of the damaged or decayed tooth. The dentist customizes them to fit into the cavity without affecting the tooth cusps.

Dental onlays restore teeth damaged or decayed at the cusps and the biting surface. They are preferred when a cavity is too large to repair with tooth fillings. The dentist may also use onlays when the tooth is weak and prone to cracking. Onlays resemble crowns but cover a part of the tooth instead of the entire tooth.

Both onlays and inlays are made of composite or resin materials. The tooth-colored materials restore the tooth allowing it to retain its natural color. First, onlays and inlays are fabricated in a dental lab. Then, the dentists use imprints or images of the damaged tooth areas for a perfect fit.

How Do Inlays Differ from Onlays?

The difference between onlays and inlays is in the area of the tooth they restore. Dental inlays fill small caries or hollows in the grooves of the tooth. They do not extend over its cusps. On the other hand, onlays fill larger holes and extend over the tooth’s cusps. They cover the damaged part and the entire chewing surface.

Another difference is that onlays repair, protect, and strengthen the tooth. On the other hand, inlays only repair and protect it. It is because onlays cover the tooth’s entire chewing surface, whereas inlays cover only the damaged part. As a result, the dentist in Phoenix will use onlays when a tooth needs extra fortification and protection.

 What Are the Benefits of Onlays and Inlays?

he dentist in Phoenix may recommend inlay and onlay restorations due to their benefits. Some of these benefits are:

  1. Onlays and inlays are more resistant to damage than tooth fillings. They do not fracture as easily as fillings. Therefore, they give the tooth added protection from further cavity damage.
  2. Inlays and onlays are customized for each tooth that needs restoring. They fit perfectly over the tooth restoring its function, strength, and appearance.
  3. The procedure for placing onlays is conservative compared to a dental crown procedure. Only the decayed portion of the tooth is drilled out when fixing onlays. However, a larger portion of the tooth is drilled out when placing crowns to allow them to fit over the tooth.
  4. Inlays and onlays made from tooth-colored materials improve the natural aesthetic of your teeth. The repaired parts will resemble the other parts of the tooth in color.
  5. They are very durable and can last between five and 30 years. Their durability depends on oral health, hygiene, habits, and diet.                                      

Caring for Inlays and Onlays

Caring for your inlays will enable them to last longer and reduce the chances of oral disease. Proper care ensures that the restorations do not become damaged or infected. It also ensures that they do not leak and allow bacteria into the tooth. This may lead to painful and severe infections requiring the services of an emergency dentist near you.

Fortunately, inlays and onlays do not require extensive aftercare. You should brush, floss and rinse your mouth with antibacterial mouthwash daily. Use an interdental toothbrush to clean your inlays properly. Also, reduce consuming sugary and acidic foods and drinks. In addition, visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.

Do you want to repair and restore functionality to your damaged or decayed teeth? Then contact us at Arizona Family Dentistry. We provide a wide range of treatments for healthy and attractive teeth.

Call Now Book Now
Click to listen highlighted text!