There are situations when a dental crown is too large to cover a decayed tooth and a filling is insufficient. Many dentists will utilise dental onlays and inlays in these situations. These allow them to cover those gaps in your teeth precisely. Inlays and onlays are larger than fillings but not as visible as crowns, which may require that your dentist reshapes your tooth significantly.

What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

They are counted as indirect dental fillings in the field of cosmetic dentistry. This means that these restorations are made in a lab rather than directly moulded in the mouth.

A dental inlay is a solid piece of material that has been custom-made to fit in your mouth. Depending on the size and depth of the cavity, the dentist will either cast it in gold or mould it out of porcelain. 

Onlays, on the other hand, are also constructed of a solid, custom-made material. They are, however, larger than inlays but smaller than crowns.

They are often used when teeth have become damaged or decayed. In comparison with crowns (another type of dental restoration), inlay/onlay restorations are often less expensive. They usually do not require any drilling into the neighbouring teeth to prepare them for placement like a crown.

The Difference Between Dental Inlays and Onlays?

Dental inlays and onlays are both restorative treatments used to repair decayed tooth structures. They both make the teeth look better, but they have some differences.

Here is the basic difference between the two: dental inlays are placed in the chewing area of your tooth that has been affected by decay or damage. Onlays, on the other hand, are utilised to repair damage and degradation to your tooth’s cusps as well as the biting surface. Therefore, it can be understood that an onlay covers a larger area of the tooth while the inlay will only cover the region within the tooth’s cusps, which is of course smaller in size.

There can also be a difference in price and method of application but these two procedures are usually done for the same reasons: to improve the aesthetics of the teeth while repairing them as well.

How to Choose Between the Dental Inlays and Onlays?

Whether you get a dental inlay or onlay to fix your tooth’s issue depends on what kind of damage is diagnosed by the dentist. The dentist will thoroughly examine the area to determine whether an inlay or onlay will precisely fix the damage and provide the required results.

Dr Nick Addario is a Chula Vista dentist offering a wide range of cosmetic dentistry procedures, including dental inlays and onlays.
The clinic offers quality and affordable treatments within a comfortable and hygienic ambience. Patients will have access to the supervision of expert dentists as well as that of Dr Addario. The clinic has a highly cooperative and trained staff to assist the patients and dentists throughout a treatment. Call or visit to book your appointment.