Inlay & Onlay

You are likely to be familiar with treatments such as fillings and crowns, but what about when the level of damage lies somewhere in between?

Inlays and onlays are used to repair any of your rear teeth that might have been decayed or damaged. They will be too damaged to allow a filling to solve the problem, but not damaged enough to mean that you require a crown to be fitted.

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What are the benefits of inlays & onlays?

When compared to other treatment options that you could choose, there are various benefits to having inlays and onlays. These include:

  • The materials used are durable. This means that they will be able to last anywhere up to 30 years, which is much longer than either a crown or a filling would be reasonably expected to last

  • They can help to make your teeth stronger. Experts believe that they can increase the strength of your tooth by up to 75%, whereas a filling has been found to decrease strength

  • If you have these fitted, it will help to prevent damage to your tooth, and it means that you are much less likely to need any further treatment in the future.

When are inlays and onlays likely to be the best treatment decision?

The most likely situation for these to be used is when you have fillings that need to be either removed or replaced. Your dentist may feel that the damage is too much to place another filling in the gap, but also feels that you don’t really need a crown to be fitted at this point.

What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?

Although the two involve a very similar procedure, there are some key differences. Inlays and onlays are usually produced in a laboratory, instead of being applied directly to the teeth. Once created, a dental inlay is quite similar to having a filling, except that it extends to the top edges of your teeth. An onlay, on the other hand, is a little more extensive, as it fits over the edges of your teeth, almost like having a cap on the top.