WHAT ARE INLAYS AND ONLAYS?
Sometimes referred to as partial crowns, inlays and Onlays are used to repair damaged teeth. Many different dental procedures are used to repair decayed and damaged teeth: crowns are used for extensive tooth decay, as they cover the entire tooth, and fillings are used to fill small cavities. Inlays and Onlays are best for dental issues that are a little larger than a regular cavity, but not large enough to warrant a dental crown.
We recommend inlays and Onlays at our Point Pleasant office when the existing tooth still has a strong foundation. This allows us to attach the inlay or onlay without the need for a full dental crown.
Inlays and Onlays are fitted onto your existing tooth to restore its natural shape and prevent any further damage. The result is a beautiful, natural-looking tooth that’s fully protected!
WHY WOULD I NEED AN INLAY OR ONLAY?
Both inlays and Onlays are general dentistry procedures that repair damaged teeth. This can be caused by many different dental issues, such as:
- Decayed teeth
- Large cavities
- Cracked teeth
- Gaps in your teeth
While you might have the option to choose between an inlay or filling, certain dental problems warrant an inlay or onlay instead of other restorative dental procedures. If you are able to choose, inlays and Onlays serve as more durable, natural-looking alternatives to fillings and dental crowns.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN INLAY AND ONLAY?
Inlays are used to repair the surface of your tooth and cover a smaller surface area than Onlays. Onlays can be molded to cover however large of a surface area is needed, and can even cover the entire top of your tooth! In comparison, inlays are more of a spot treatment for a smaller area.
Both inlays and Onlays can be made from different materials, including ceramic and composite resin, which give you a natural look.
ARE INLAYS BETTER THAN FILLINGS?
Inlays are very similar to dental fillings in that they’re both used to treat cavities. The difference lies in the type of cavity being treated and how the process works — inlays are used to treat larger cavities, and they are a more durable treatment option than fillings.
The treatment process between inlays and fillings is different, too. When you get a filling, it’s usually done with some kind of amalgam or composite and only takes about one visit. When it comes to getting inlays, the piece that goes on your tooth has to be created in a lab, especially if it’s made of ceramic or composite resin. They have to be perfectly shaped to adequately cover the decayed area while blending in with your natural tooth.
ARE ONLAYS BETTER THAN DENTAL CROWNS?
Onlays and dental crowns aren’t used as interchangeably as you might think, though some refer to Onlays as partial crowns. Dental crowns cover the entire surface of your tooth from the gum line up, while dental Onlays are more like partial crowns that only cover the top surface of your tooth.
Dental crowns are used when patients have more serious tooth decay and the existing tooth structure is compromised. Onlays are perfect for patients with decay that’s too large to be treated with an inlay or filling, but not advanced enough to warrant a full dental crown. Plus, Onlays require less prep work and treatment time in comparison to dental crowns.
HOW LONG DO INLAYS AND ONLAYS LAST?
Inlays and Onlays can last as long as 20-30 years with proper care! This makes them a much more durable alternative than fillings, which usually need to be replaced around every ten years.
INLAYS AND ONLAYS IN POINT PLEASANT, NJ
When you’re thinking about getting inlays or Onlays, it’s important to have the help of an experienced dentist who can make the best recommendation for your specific needs. With over 15 years of experience, Dr. Zicchino of Coastal Dental Group knows how to give you a healthy, beautiful smile. Book an appointment today or give us a call at 732-714-1030!