The Difference Between Inlays and Onlays: Which is Best for You?
Here at Lynn Dental Care, we try to offer convenient care for your every dental need. By having a Dallas-area office, we are conveniently located for our patients, but our real job starts once you walk through our door.
Dental inlays and onlays are often used to correct problems that patients don’t even know they have. I will put an inlay or an onlay on a tooth if over half of the tooth’s biting surface area is damaged. First, it’s important to know the difference between an inlay and an onlay. The difference is fairly simple. An inlay is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth, much like a filling. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to an inlay, but extending out over at least one of the cusps of the tooth.
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin, however I tend to use porcelain on my patients because of its extreme strength and natural-looking color. Once they are molded to fit into the needed area, these pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth.
Inlays and onlays only require two appointments to complete the procedure, so the entire process is quick and will give you results that will last up to 30 years with the proper care.
During your first visit, I will remove the damaged area of the tooth and then prepare it for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and biting ability, I will make an impression of your tooth first. That impression is sent to a lab for fabrication and I will apply a temporary sealant on the tooth to protect it until your next appointment.
At the second appointment, I will remove the sealant and check the fitting of your new inlay or onlay. If everything fits properly, I will bond the inlay or onlay to your tooth with a strong resin and polish it to a smooth finish.
Although they are similar to traditional fillings, inlays and onlays can increase the strength of a tooth up to 75% because they are bonded directly to the tooth using extremely durable resin.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please contact my office.