Dental inlays and onlays are restorations used to repair back teeth that have a mild to moderate amount of decay. They can also be used to restore teeth that are cracked of fractured if the damage is not sever enough to require dental crown. Inlays and onlays are usually made from porcelain. Because they can be created from tooth-colored materials, inlays and onlays are often used to replace metal fillings for patients who desire a more natural looking smile.
Dental Inlays: Dental inlays are used to treat teeth that have decay or damage lying within their indented top surfaces. They can also be used to replace old or damaged metal (amalgam) fillings. Inlay placement is usually carried out over two appointments. There is no downtime after work or other activities as soon as you leave the office.
Since dental inlays and onlays can be made from durable, tooth-colored porcelain, they offer much more enduring and natural-looking results than metal fillings.
Dental Onlays: Whereas dental inlays are designed to treat decay within the cusps, or top projections, of a tooth, onlays are used to treat decay that extends to one or more of the cusps.
Like dental inlays, onlays can be created from tooth-colored material, which makes them virtually undetectable to the naked eye. Onlays also help to conserve more tooth structure because their use requires minimal removal of tooth’s surface. Perhaps their most important benefit, however, is that, in saving damaged teeth, onlays help patients avoid the eventual need for more extensive treatment with dental crowns, dental bridges, or dental implants.
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