Inlays and onlays are alternatives to restore a damaged tooth. Your dentist may recommend one of these options if damage is too severe for a filling but not serious enough to require a crown. Both inlays and onlays are created in a laboratory and then cemented or bonded to the tooth. Unlike fillings, they strengthen the tooth for chewing.
What Is the Difference Between Inlays and Onlays Dental?
The only difference between inlays and onlays is the extent to which they cover the tooth. An inlay repairs the space between cusps in the center of the surface of the tooth. Onlays are for more extensive damage, covering one or more cusps or even the entire surface of the tooth.
The Inlay and Onlay Procedure
The procedure for receiving an inlay or onlay is the same. Both involve two visits to your dentist.
In the first appointment, your dentist will prepare your tooth for treatment by removing any decay and making an impression of your teeth. If you are receiving an inlay or onlay in porcelain, your dentist will also choose a material that best matches the colour of your teeth and send this information to the laboratory. Finally, you will receive a temporary restoration to protect your tooth during the few weeks it takes to make your permanent solution.
You will return to the clinic when your inlay or onlay is ready. Your dentist will remove the temporary restoration and position the permanent one on your tooth. Before bonding or cementing the inlay or onlay in place, your dentist will check your bite.
To care for your inlay or onlay at home, treat it the same as your natural teeth. You will need to return to the dental clinic only for regular checkups, during which your dentist will ensure the restoration remains in good condition.