If your dentist discovered a few cavities during your latest dental visit, they likely walked you through their recommended treatment plan for restoring your teeth. While you commonly hear of fillings or crowns, they may recommend a dental inlay or onlay instead.
But what exactly are dental inlays and onlays? Are they as effective as fillings or crowns?
To ensure you feel comfortable with your upcoming procedure, Bridge Creek Dental is here to walk you through why inlays and onlays are used and explain the difference between these two options.
Why Are Inlays and Onlays Recommended?
A filling or crown may not be the right course of action to treat your cavity in certain situations. Fillings are typically used to fill in small cavities once they’ve been removed. If the cavity is deeper in the tooth, your dentist may opt for a crown instead.
However, there are instances where a filling is too small, and a crown is too large of a procedure for the severity of your cavity, which is why dental inlays or onlays would be used instead. They provide the same benefits to the teeth without being as intrusive as a dental crown.
The Difference Between Dental Inlays and Onlays
Both inlays and onlays are similar to dental crowns in that they cover up the affected area of the tooth, but they are only placed atop the cavity, not the entire tooth. While similar in function, inlays, and onlays serve two different purposes depending on your specific cavity.
When your cavity is located within the cusps of your teeth, a dentist may recommend a dental inlay. Inlays are used to reduce damage to the surface of your tooth, acting as a filling between the cusps. Unlike fillings, however, dental inlays can be made of gold, composite resins, and ceramics. In most cases, patients opt for composite resins because of their ability to match your teeth and create a seamless fix.
Unlike inlays, dental onlays cover a larger portion of the tooth, attaching to the outside edges of the tooth’s cusps. Because of the onlays coverage of the tooth’s surface, they’re sometimes referred to as partial crowns. Onlays are used when the cavity is deep, requiring more than a filling or inlay but not large enough for a full crown. They cover the biting surface to provide enough strength to the tooth to reduce the risk of further damage. Similar to inlays, onlays can be made from gold, composite resins, or ceramics.
Call Bridge Creek Dental for Fillings in Billings, MT
Think of dental inlays and onlays as the right treatment plan for moderate cavities or tooth restoration. While a filling can fix a small problem and a crown can restore a large cavity, inlays and onlays allow your dentist to be more precise during the restoration process.
Do you think you have a cavity or want to schedule a second opinion? Bridge Creek Dental’s team of skilled dentists is here to help.
If you need dental restoration to restore a tooth and reduce any discomfort you’re having, Bridge Creek Dental will determine if dental fillings, dental inlays, or dental onlays are the right treatment plan for your smile. From there, our cosmetic dentistry team will walk you through what to expect during each procedure and the difference between the two. Have peace of mind knowing you have the best team on the job.
The Bridge Creek Dental team is standing by to answer any questions or concerns you have about improving your smile. Contact us to schedule your smile assessment appointment today.Share This: