Sometimes, a cavity is too large for a filling but too small for a crown. Still, the cavity obviously needs to be treated to prevent further decay and restore the health of the tooth. The solution: porcelain onlays or inlays. Dental onlays and inlays fill the cavity without having to reshape your tooth and are often an ideal option to keep your natural teeth in good shape.
Differences Between Dental Onlays and Inlays
Dental onlays and inlays are made from the same materials (porcelain or composite) and are used for the same purpose (filling cavities), but the application is where they differ.
An inlay fills cavities in the areas between the cusps. An onlay can also fill those spaces, but can include the cusps.
While onlays and inlays are similar in function to crowns, they don’t require us to reshape the tooth.
When to Get an Inlay
Inlays are perfectly matched to the hollow of your tooth and are used to strengthen a tooth that has been injured or suffered decay. Inlays are more durable than traditional fillings, which is why they’re ideal when a cavity is especially large but not quite big enough to warrant a crown. Inlays generally cost more than a traditional filling, but they also last longer.
When to Get an Onlay
Onlays are a good idea when your cusps need filling as well as the areas in between. The process is similar to a standard filling at first, but then an impression of your tooth is turned into a permanent onlay that perfectly matches your tooth.
Sometimes called partial crowns because they have similar functionality, onlays do not require us to reshape your tooth and preserve its original structure. Both inlays and onlays only cover the necessary parts of your tooth rather than the whole tooth.
We’re Ready to Help You
At Cajon Dental, everything we do is centered on you, your health and your experience.