Dental patients often wonder what the difference between inlays and onlays is in terms of overall dental care. While fillings are typically used to fill in small cavities and crowns are used when decay is deeper or more severe, there may be cases where fillings are not enough and where a crown may be too much. The placement of dental inlays and onlays are in many cases used as an alternative when either of the other mentioned treatments is not the best option. While more substantial than a filling, inlays and onlays are not as involved as the placement of a crown which requires the removal of a considerable amount of tooth material.
Inlays are simply used it to fill in cavities or areas in a tooth that are between the cusps. Conversely, onlays also fill in cavities and areas in the tooth but may be used to cover one or multiple cusps. This type of dental technology is similar in many ways to crowns but will not cover the entire surface of the tooth. For example, while a crown is all-encompassing and essentially is used to replace the entire top of the tooth, inlays and onlays can be used in a more targeted way covering only areas of the tooth requiring repair or restoration. Both inlays and onlays are custom molded or crafted to fit into the chewing surface of the tooth where there has been decay or damage or perhaps even injury.
Porcelain or Composite Material
Your dental care provider will use an imprint of the affected area that is then sent to the lab in order to create a perfect inlay or onlay. Materials used to create these types of dental add-ons can include everything from porcelain to composite material as well as even gold. The main goal is always to improve the overall biting surface of the tooth using this innovative technique. With so much to offer it is clear to see why inlays and onlays have become so popular in today’s world of modern dentistry. To determine which technique is best for your particular dental needs, meet with your dental care provider. Contact your Pinole dentist, Azadeh Hosseini, DDS or Ghazal Hosseini, DDS at Top Pinole Dental today for more information about the differences between inlays and onlays.