Inlays and Onlays: What Are the Differences?

Inlays and onlays are dental procedures that use tooth-colored materials to repair decayed or damaged teeth. The two terms, inlay and onlay, are often used interchangeably by dentists. However, they refer to different ways of repairing a tooth. Let us review these differences.

What is an Inlay?

An inlay is a filling placed inside a tooth, between the cusps and crevices of the chewing surface. An inlay is created utilizing the imprint of the tooth that the dentist takes in their office. The dental lab will then create a custom-made inlay that perfectly fits the prepared tooth. Inlays are also created to best match the tooth's color, so they are discrete and unnoticeable.Inlays repair teeth with moderate damage or decay and do not require a complete coverage restoration. The material used for an inlay is porcelain or a composite material that is generally stronger than your traditional fillings.

When Will a Dentist Choose an Inlay?

A dentist will choose an inlay when a filling does not repair the tooth enough. For example, if a significant amount of decay has compromised a tooth and a filling will not be strong or durable enough to repair it, an inlay may be used instead.

What is an Onlay?

An onlay is also utilized for decay and damage. However, these are used for the cusps of a tooth and the chewing surface.

When Will a Dentist Choose an Onlay?

A Dentist will use an only when a significant amount of the tooth is missing, and a filling will not be enough to restore it. Onlays are also referred to as partial crowns because they serve similar functions.Both inlays and onlays are custom-made to fit your teeth, so you can be sure that they will look natural and feel comfortable. If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact our office.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

When it comes to inlays and onlays, there are a wide variety of benefits that you can enjoy. Some of these benefits include:

  • A more natural look and feel than traditional fillings
  • Restoration of significant damage to the teeth
  • No mercury exposure
  • Added strength and durability

Due to these advantages, many patients prefer inlays and onlays to traditional fillings.

Get Started Today

Are you considering inlays or onlays? Consult with Dr. Firouzi at the Center for Exceptional Dentistry to discuss your options. Visit our contact page here or call (412) 274-1126 today for more information. We are eager and ready to help!