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Inlays and Onlays: A More Conservative Approach

Dental inlays and onlays are sometimes used instead of large fillings and crowns. What do they do?

Inlays and onlays cover slight to moderately damaged areas of teeth. They are comprised of a hard, composite resin that is secure and custom fitted. These “indirect fillings’ serve to fill larger cavities, or when a tooth’s structure is damaged. The results are very good, matching your natural teeth well and restoring proper biting.

Like a traditional filling

Dental inlays are more similar to traditional fillings than onlays. Made of gold, porcelain or composite resin, inlays seal the tooth so that decay is minimized. It’s fit to the inside of the tooth to conform to its natural shape.

An inlay is useful as a repair because only what is necessary for your health is changed. This process is cost-effective and lasts longer than most crowns.

Dental onlays help preserve the original tooth

Dental onlays are used on larger areas than inlays.

Typically one or more cusps and the sides of a tooth are covered with a protective coating that allows healthy portions of the tooth to remain in place. This treatment is considered very conservative and minimally invasive.  

An onlay is also custom designed to conform to the natural shape of the tooth. Again, composite resins or gold or porcelain are used. Gold is the strongest material though composite materials are preferred for their natural looking colors.   

The technology permits an ideal fit in both cases, maximizing oral health with aesthetics.

If you would like to know more about inlays or onlays or learn about other conservative dental methods, contact us today.