Inlays and onlays can often be used in place of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. They are a great dental restorative choice if you have minimal-to-moderate tooth decay that extends into a flossing area.
Inlays and onlays are extremely stable restorative solutions for the treatment of decay. The superior fit and durable material make them a stable choice that can actually strengthen a damaged tooth.
- Inlays are made of a composite material (similar to a filling) and are used to fill the inner biting surface of the tooth.
- Onlays are larger and cover both the biting surface and cusps of a tooth. Both offer a conservative dental preparation that preserves as much healthy tooth as possible.
Inlays and onlays are fabricated indirectly in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth by Dr. Richter.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
- Tooth-Colored Aesthetic Longevity – not likely to discolor over time as tooth-colored resin fillings often do
- Used to Repair Tooth Damage – which may be too small for a crown but too extensive for a composite filling
- Tooth Structure Safeguard – preserves the maximum amount of healthy tooth structure while restoring decayed or damaged areas, so they help to ensure functional longevity
- Easy Tooth Cleaning – Because the fit is tailored at all edges and the preparation minimal, your tooth can be easier to clean than it would be with full coverage restorative alternatives such as a dental crown.
- Precise Fit – Composite fillings can shrink during the curing process, whereas prefabricated porcelain or gold inlays and onlays will not.
- Tight Space Restoration – If you have a cavity between your teeth, consider an inlay rather than a direct composite filling. Inlays are better at sealing teeth to keep out bacteria, are easy to clean, will not stain, and offer exceptional longevity.
- Weak Tooth Protector – An onlay can protect the weak areas of the tooth. The procedure does not require the complete reshaping of the tooth.