When your tooth needs more than a filling, but less than a full crown, an inlay or onlay may be recommended as a method of restoration. Never heard of inlays and onlays before? Plateau Village Dental in Coquitlam uses inlays and onlays in place of a filling to restore teeth that are badly decayed.
How does an inlay differ from an onlay?
Inlays and onlays are used to restore teeth and the difference relates to the amount of coverage and where they’re placed. An inlay, for example is used to restore damage to the biting surface within the cusp. (The cusp is the shaped structure on the top of back teeth which holds food for chewing). Onlays, on the other hand, are used to restore more excessive damage, which may have extended beyond one or two cusps. For this reason, they’re also referred to as partial crowns.
The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Not only are inlays and onlays more durable, but they also require less tooth removal and are less likely to discolor over time as compared to dental fillings and crowns. There are plenty of benefits to receiving inlay and onlay treatment:
- Tooth preservation – Most of the tooth’s natural structure remains intact, as less of the damaged tooth is required to be removed compared to traditional fillings
- Strength –They are made from stronger, more durable materials than dental fillings and crowns. They typically last longer and provide additional strength and support to damaged teeth, too
- Fit – Inlays and onlays are custom fit to the individual before they are placed in the mouth, providing a better fit than fillings
- Color – They are more resistant to stains and tooth discolorations, and the porcelain or composite resin can be color-matched to your teeth for a natural look and feel
- Hygiene – They are easier to clean and bacteria are less likely to enter the affected area post treatment