Inlays & Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are tooth restorations that cover more surface area of a tooth than a standard filling, but that are not as invasive as a dental crown.
Inlays & Onlays: The difference
Porcelain inlay and onlay restorations are custom fillings that are typically made out of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. Porcelain inlays and onlays are popular because they resemble natural teeth very closely. They are made by a professional dental laboratory and are permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist.
Inlays and onlays are used to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or that have been damaged by decay or trauma.
Inlays are an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings. Also, they are more conservative than crowns because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation for inlays.
Onlays are also an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because less tooth structure is removed in the preparation for onlays. Onlays are essentially identical to inlays with the exception that one or more of the chewing cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.
What dental problems can inlays and onlays resolve?
Inlays and onlays can be used to remedy a variety of dental problems, including breaks, fractures and decay, and to replace older fillings that are large in size. They can also be used for cosmetic enhancements.