Inlays and Onlays: Less Than a Crown but More Than a Filling

Dental inlays and onlays are both cosmetic and restorative dentistry solutions that protect, correct, and beautify teeth simultaneously for an attractive smile makeover. Sometimes, porcelain crowns are too big and composite fillings are not enough to tend to a patient’s dental concerns, but an inlay or an onlay may be just the conservative solution needed to get teeth back to where they need to be.

Onlays: The Benefits of a Partial Crown

Onlays are also known as partial crowns, a description that is completely accurate. An onlay doesn’t cover an entire tooth, but it does cover the whole chewing surface of a tooth and at least one cusp. Teeth with more significant damage benefit from this type of restoration without having to undergo the intensity of a porcelain crown restoration.

An onlay is a great solution for:

  • Large fillings: Sometimes a tooth is so decayed that its strength and composition will be compromised by the removal of a cavity. In cases like this, a filling isn’t enough to rebuild and maintain the strength of a tooth, but an onlay, which fills the top and at least one side of the tooth – maybe more – delivers the kind of protection needed to reestablish the strength of the tooth.
  • Deterioration: Sometimes the easiest repair for a deteriorating tooth is to cover it with a customized porcelain crown. However, if you can get away with a more conservative solution in both cost and dental work, why not entertain that option. An onlay is designed to conceal and repair a deteriorating tooth so it is a robust part of your smile.

Inlays: An Alternative to a Composite Filling

Tooth decay can sneak up on you. Even people with the very best oral hygiene habits who are dedicated to seeing their dentist regularly can end up with a small filling. If you do tend to your teeth carefully, your dentist will find problems before they become bigger, and often the recommendation to repair a small cavity is an inlay. Here’s why:

  • Inlays fit in over the chewing surface of a molar. Once decay is removed, the inlay is placed, correcting the problem and leaving the tooth looking natural while forming a tight seal that protects it permanently.
  • Small cavities don’t need huge solutions. Sometimes decay is just on the surface of your teeth and does not require intensive drilling and enamel removal. An inlay fills in the cleaned out area for a robust repair.

Cosmetic Benefits of Inlays an Onlays

When a tooth is not damaged or deteriorating but it could look better than it currently does, an inlay or onlay can get the job done. Porcelain has a natural look so you won’t have any fake-looking upgrades.

  • Correct yellowing teeth: If your dentist tells you that professional teeth whitening treatment won’t make a dent in discoloration, inlays or onlays will blend with the color of your tooth enamel and look natural.
  • Make teeth last longer: The durable natural of inlays and onlays make them a long-term repair that can cosmetically fix a tooth now and keep it working properly over time.

Get Inlays and Onlays in Chandler, AZ

Inlays and onlays are versatile, strong, and make a damaged or unsightly tooth look natural and function properly. If you’re worried about invasive dental repairs, talk to Dr. Brigham Baker and his dental team about inlays and onlays at Impressions Dental in Chandler, AZ. Contact us to schedule an appointment.