Inlays and onlays are indirect restorations used to treat damage that falls short of needing a full dental crown. They can be used on teeth that have suffered moderate damage. While onlays refer to a partial crown that covers one or more cusps/points, an inlay is a partial filling that is used on the grooves of a tooth.
An inlay is a type of restoration that is designed to fix damage to the chewing surface of the tooth. Inlays can be used when the tooth's damage is not extensive and doesn't spread to or beyond the cusps of the teeth.
An onlay is designed to fix a tooth that has suffered from extensive damage, and the tip and cusp of the tooth are affected.
Both inlays and onlays are used to treat damage that affects just the surface of the tooth. An inlay or onlay is often used when your tooth has mild to moderate decay or damage, but a crown is not necessary. An inlay or onlay is sometimes a better option than a filling because a less healthy tooth structure is removed in the preparation of the restoration. Inlays and onlays can also be used for cracked teeth if the crack is not severe.
Inlays and onlays can repair damages that are too extensive for standard fillings but not quite extensive enough to require a dental crown.
Inlays and onlays can restore your smile by filling in areas of decay while preserving more of your natural teeth than dental crowns require. Most patients find inlays and onlays to be more comfortable than fillings. They are made from porcelain and composite resin, so teeth won't discolor over time.
To learn more about our dental services, call Lanham Smiles Family Dentistry at (301) 459-0914 or schedule an online appointment. You can also visit our dental office located at 9500 Annapolis Road, Suite C6, Lanham, MD 20706.