If you’ve been told that you need a dental restoration, you may have heard the terms “inlay” and “onlay.” While both options are used to repair damaged or decayed teeth, there are some differences between the two. In this article, we’ll explore dental inlays and onlays, and help you determine which option is best for your needs.
What are Dental Inlays?
Dental inlays are a type of restoration used to repair a tooth that has a cavity or other damage affecting the chewing surface. Inlays are made from materials such as porcelain or composite resin and are custom-made to fit into the grooves of the tooth. The process for getting an inlay involves removing the damaged portion of the tooth and taking an impression to create a mould for the inlay. The inlay is then cemented into place on the tooth.
What are Dental Onlays?
Dental onlays are similar to inlays in that they are used to repair damaged or decayed teeth. However, onlays are used when the damage extends beyond the chewing surface of the tooth and onto the cusps (the raised parts of the tooth). Onlays are also custom-made from materials such as porcelain or composite resin and are cemented into place on the tooth.
Differences between Dental Inlays and Onlays
The main difference between dental inlays and onlays is the area of the tooth that they cover. Inlays only cover the grooves and pits on the chewing surface of the tooth, while onlays cover the cusps as well. In addition, onlays require more tooth structure to be removed in order to make room for restoration. This means that inlays are generally less invasive and may be a better option for smaller areas of decay.
Which One is Right for You?
The decision between a dental inlay and onlay depends on a variety of factors, including the size and location of the decay or damage, your oral health needs, and your personal preference. Your dentist can help you determine which option is best for your specific case. It’s also worth noting that both dental inlays and onlays offer benefits over other types of restorations such as fillings.
Dental inlays and onlays are both effective options for repairing damaged or decayed teeth. While there are differences between the two, ultimately the decision on which one to choose will depend on your individual needs and preferences. If you think you may need a dental restoration, talk to your dentist to determine which option is right for you. With the right dental care and maintenance, both inlays and onlays can provide a lasting solution for a healthier, more beautiful smile.