Feb 21, 2022

Six Reasons for Which You Might Need Inlays and Onlays

Before you can choose to have a tooth extraction procedure, be open to the idea of dental restorations that can save your natural teeth. Fortunately, you have more than two options to choose from, including dental fillings, tooth crowns, onlays, and inlays. ​

What Are the Inlays and Onlays?

They are indirect fillings used in restorative dentistry to repair and restore damaged teeth. These dental restorations are easily comparable to dental fillings and dental crowns, even though they are different. Inlays and onlays feature three materials, either porcelain, gold, or composite. Your dentist in Munster will use onlays or inlays when the tooth filling is too large, and the restoration is not big enough to necessitate a dental crown. ​

Inlays VS. Onlays: What’s The Difference?

The difference between onlays and inlays is not that big. You can differentiate the two by the filling material used when restoring a damaged tooth. Ideally, an onlay covers a larger surface than an inlay. Inlays fill the hole of the tooth without spreading over to the cusps of the tooth. However, onlays fill the tooth as well as the cusps thereof. It is why inlays are sometimes called partial dental crowns. ​

Why Do Dentists Use Inlays and Onlays For Dental Restorations?

Dental inlays and onlays are restorative materials that can restore decayed teeth. However, it is not always that our dental team at Family Dental Care – Munster will use onlays or inlays. Usually, dentists employ inlays where dental fillings are not suitable to complete your treatment because they are too big. Instead of a large tooth filling, therefore, a dentist will opt for an inlay. On the other hand, onlays are used instead of dental crowns. Ideally, the level of damage on your tooth would require a considerable restorative material but not big enough to necessitate a dental crown. Therefore, instead of preparing the whole tooth, the dentist will prepare the top part only, covering the chewing surfaces instead of the whole tooth. ​

Dental Issues Treated with Onlays and Inlays

Dental restorations help restore natural teeth and treat dental pain and infections. When your dentist determines to use onlays and inlays, it is for the following reasons:
  1. Dental decay and tooth cavities – cavities are very common among both children and adults. One of the ways to restore a decayed tooth is using an onlay or inlay.
  2. Cracked or broken teeth – stakes are higher if the tooth has also suffered nerve damage.
  3. Weak teeth enamel – when your enamel begins to thin out, it weakens the overall tooth structure. A dentist may determine to use an onlay to reinforce the strength of your tooth.

Top Reasons Why You Should Opt for Inlays and Onlays

As you decide about the fate of your dental health, you should liaise closely with your dentist to identify the best oral restoration approach for your smile. Some of the benefits of inlays and onlays over other dental restorations are:
  1. Structural benefits – when restoring the structure of your natural tooth, inlays and onlays are better than dental fillings. They help reinforce the strength of your tooth’s structure.
  2. Less invasive procedure – compared to getting dental crowns, inlays and onlays require less preparation. Your dentist will not need to remove too much of your tooth’s enamel to make room for an onlay or inlay, as would be the case with a dental crown.
  3. Durability – inlays and onlays can last a long time, depending on the material used to make them. Those made of composites last anywhere between 5 to 10 years. However, gold and porcelain onlays and inlays can last up to 30 years with proper care.
  4. Stability – typically, dental fillings contract and expand with temperature changes, risking tooth damage. Onlays and inlays do not expand with usage, particularly those made of porcelain.
  5. Aesthetic benefits – when you choose composite or porcelain inlays and onlays, the result is a natural-looking smile. It is because the materials are tooth-colored and can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
Perfect fit – onlays and inlays fit like a glove because they are created using the impressions of your tooth.

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