Inlays and onlays are types of tooth-restoration processes that are used to repair teeth with moderate damage. These treatments are generally provided when a tooth cannot be adequately repaired with a standard filling, but replacing the tooth with a full dental crown would be considered excessive. After being restored with an inlay or onlay, a tooth will regain its function and appearance, and most of its original structure will remain intact.
A dental inlay is comprised of filling material that is bonded to the center of a tooth’s chewing surface. An inlay will not cover any of the tooth’s cusps, only the area inside these points. Our experts usually recommend an inlay when a tooth in unable to be restored with a regular filling, but a full dental crown is also not required. After being repaired with an inlay, a tooth will have its appearance and function restored, and it will be noticeably stronger and more durable than before.
Unlike an inlay, a dental onlay will cover at least one of the tooth’s cusps. In most cases, these points represent the spaces where the onlay will bond to the tooth. Sometimes, it may even be necessary to cover the entire chewing surface of a tooth with an onlay.
If you would like to learn more about inlays and onlays and how they can be used to restore damaged teeth, please call our office at (602) 598-0338 to schedule an appointment.