young woman wearing glasses sits in the dentist chair after geeting onlays on her teeth.

What Are Inlays & Onlays?

February 16, 2023 7:38 pm

Depending on how well-versed you are in the assortment of dental treatments that are out there, you may have heard of dental fillings or dental crowns. But what about inlays and onlays? Inlays and onlays are also considered types of restorative dental care as they can help restore a tooth’s strength and structure.

The Basics of Inlays & Onlays

Inlays and onlays are used to repair teeth that have been damaged. Inlays are for repairing the inner, central part of a damaged tooth (you can think of them as going “in” the tooth). Onlays, on the other hand, fix the cusps or chewing surface area of a tooth (so remember that they go “on” top). You can get inlays and onlays made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, composite resin, and gold.

Inlays & Onlays vs. Dentals Fillings

Sometimes you may hear of dental inlays and onlays called “indirect fillings,” which might make them easily confused with your regular dental fillings. There is a difference though. With traditional fillings, a special material is used to fill the hole left by a cavity and then cemented. With inlays and onlays, we work with a dental lab to create a solid piece of material that’s specifically designed to be placed inside or over the empty, damaged space of a tooth.

So, inlays and onlays are considered “indirect” because rather than like a filling that’s placed directly into the tooth in one appointment, there is an outside preparation stage that needs to be done to complete the procedure over multiple visits.

Benefits of Inlays & Onlays

One of the main benefits of inlays and onlays is that they’re made to last longer than dental fillings, sometimes many years longer depending on what material your inlay/onlay is made out of. Overall, they give your tooth back the added strength and support it needs for you to chew properly.

Inlays & Onlays at Riverstone Dental Care

Do you have more questions about inlays or onlays? We provide both at Riverstone Dental Care in Canton so we would be happy to help you in any way that we can! Contact us today by email or by phone and a member of our team would be delighted to get you the answers you need or set you up with an appointment.

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