Everything You Should Know About Dental Inlays and Onlays

Everything You Should Know About Dental Inlays and Onlays

Jul 01, 2021

Inlays and onlays are indirect fillings. Indirect restorations are those that are fabricated in a dental lab and then cemented to a tooth. In contrast, direct fillings are applied or poured directly into a damaged or decayed tooth. Simple tooth fillings are used to treat minor cavities, tooth chips, and fractures.

Your dentist may recommend inlays and onlays if you have a cavity that’s too big for a simple tooth filling but not large enough to necessitate a dental crown. Dental crowns are typically reserved for severely decayed or damaged teeth.

Indirect restorations rebuild a tooth’s function and appearance and help you chew, look and feel better.

If you have tooth decay or other forms of tooth damage, please call Randolph Dental Group to discuss your restoration options. We’re a family-friendly dental practice that offers outstanding dental inlays and Onlays services to patients of all ages.

Inlays vs. Onlays

Inlays and onlays are essentially the same. However, while inlays fit within the cusps of a tooth, onlays extend beyond the cusps and onto the chewing surfaces. That is, onlays cover a larger surface area of the tooth. Onlays are sometimes called partial or ¾ crowns.

How Are Inlays and Onlays Made?

If you require inlays and onlays treatment, you’ll need to make at least two dental visits. Below are the steps involved during treatment:

  • The dentist starts by administering local anesthesia and, in some cases, sedation. If you have an existing tooth filling that needs to be removed, the dentist takes care of this first. If you don’t have any existing restorations but have tooth decay, the dentist removes all decayed parts of your tooth. Then, the dentist cleans out the tooth and disinfects it.
  • Next, the dentist obtains your dental impressions. These will inform the fabrication of the inlay or onlay.
  • The dentist places a temporary filling to cover the damaged tooth as you wait for the permanent restoration.
  • Once the inlays or onlays are ready, the dentist calls you back and permanently cements the restorations to your teeth.

Dental inlays and onlays are manufactured from different materials, including gold, porcelain, and composite resin. Each of these materials offers varying pros and cons.

For instance, gold is incredibly durable, porcelain is stain resistant, and composite resin blends well with the natural smile color. On the flip side, gold doesn’t blend in well with your natural smile and might be expensive, while composite resin stains more easily than porcelain.

The dentists at Randolph Dental Group take time to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each material to help you reach an informed decision.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays treatment offers numerous benefits to individuals experiencing dental damage. Some key advantages of dental inlays and onlays include:

  • Metal fillings gradually weaken teeth over time. In contrast, inlays and onlays reinforce a tooth’s strength by up to 75 percent.
  • Tooth-colored inlays and onlays boost a smile’s aesthetics.
  • Indirect restorations are durable and can last as many as 30 years.
  • They resist fractures and damage better than traditional fillings.
  • Porcelain inlays and onlays are stain-resistant.
  • In comparison to dental crowns, dental inlays and onlays are more conservative as they don’t require extensive enamel reshaping.

Inlays and Onlays Aftercare Tips

Healing and recovery after inlays and onlays treatment take only a couple of days. Here are some aftercare guidelines to keep in mind:

  • Avoid consuming foods or beverages that are too hot or too cold.
  • Be gentle when chewing with the treated side.
  • When soreness or numbness subsides, clean your inlays and onlays as you would your natural teeth.
  • In case your bite feels off, get in touch with your dentist as you may require adjustment.
  • Avoid hard and sticky foods.
  • Let the dentist know if you’re experiencing tooth grinding or clenching problems, as you may require a night mouthguard.
  • Schedule regular bi-annual dental exams and cleanings with our dentist for close monitoring and professional support.

Schedule Your Appointment

If you have cavities, you may require dental onlays services to rebuild your teeth. Remember, untreated cavities can cause significant pain and make you susceptible to tooth loss. Reach out to Randolph Dental Group today to enjoy personalized dental onlays services.

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