What Is the Difference between Inlay and Onlay?

What Is the Difference between Inlay and Onlay?

Dec 01, 2020

Has your dentist advised you that you need restorations to fill cavities and dental decay? You may have heard the term fillings and crowns being spoken about at the dentist’s office. However, did you hear about inlays or Onlays? Chances are you may not have heard about them, and you want more information about the differences between the two.

When you have dental decay in the form of tiny cavities, fillings are usually the first option for restoring your tooth. However, if you have extensive decay, your dentist may recommend dental crowns as an optimal restoration method. If you have a situation where a filling is insufficient, and a crown is too much to protect your tooth, cosmetic dentistry professionals recommend an inlay and onlay. These are just the options you may need to fill in the gaps in your teeth. Inlays and Onlays are more substantial than fillings but not as intrusive as crowns, requiring reshaping the tooth before placement.

What Is the Difference between Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays can fill in cavities and holes in the tooth in the areas between the cusps. Onlays are different because they can fill cavities and cover a more expansive space, including the thresholds. Onlays work similarly to dental crowns without entirely encasing the tooth. The materials used for making inlays and Onlays are similar, and both serve the same purpose but covering different areas of the tooth. Their primary function is to protect the tooth entirely when tooth decay is present.

Explaining Inlay and Onlay in Dentistry

A tooth damaged by decay or injury is suitably served by inlays molded and fitted onto the tooth’s chewing surface. An imprint of the affected area of your tooth is taken for the dental laboratory when manufacturing the inlays. Inlays fit perfectly into the hollow of the tooth without affecting the cusps.

When the dentist in Billerica, MA, takes the impression they will attempt to best match the color of your tooth to ensure when the inlay placement is completed, it remains incognito in your mouth. Either porcelain or composite materials are used for making inlays as they are stronger and more durable than conventional fillings. Inlays are traditionally more expensive than fillings but are also more durable. Your dentist opts for this option when traditional fillings will not strengthen the neighboring tooth, and the cavity needs durable materials to fortify the tooth.

Onlays are beneficial for covering decay and damages to the cusps besides the biting surfaces. The Billerica dentist chooses Onlays when a cavity is expansive for a filling or is prone to cracking due to instability. An onlay will restore the strength of the truth by protecting the decaying area. However, unlike inlays, the area covered by Onlays also include cusps besides the space between.

The dentist at one dental care prepares your tooth for these restorations similarly as you may need a filling. The cavity is drilled out and the area cleaned by applying numbing anesthetic in the mouth. You receive a temporary onlay until your permanent restoration arrives from the dental laboratory. It would help if you waited for a month for the dental laboratory to prepare your onlay when the placement is completed on your tooth.

Your tooth structure is preserved entirely when the dentist provides an onlay to cover it. Onlays serve similarly as dental crowns by only covering a portion of the tooth instead of encasing the entire tooth. Onlays are also popular as partial crowns.

Are Inlays and Onlays Durable?

The most significant benefit of inlays and Onlays is their durability. Inlays can remain on your teeth for five to 30 years. However, cosmetic dentistry professionals cannot guarantee the duration of time the restorations may last for various reasons. After inlays and Onlays placement, you need to approach your dental hygiene practices stringently by brushing twice a day, flossing at least once, and following the Billerica dentist’s recommendations without exceptions. Dental visits every six months for cleanings and exams and checking the stability and health of the inlays and Onlays is also a requirement. However, you must understand having chewy hard foods can affect the longevity of inlays and Onlays, leaving you needing replacements if your dentist recommends it. Therefore you must care for your teeth appropriately by following your dentist’s recommendations if you are having inlays and Onlays placed on them.