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Inlays and Onlays, what you need to know

Inlays and Onlays

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know the difference between an inlay and an onlay. Inlays are used to replace a small amount of tooth structure loss, while onlays are used to replace more than one-third of the tooth’s surface. Inlays fit inside the tooth, while onlays fit over the top of the tooth.

If you are experiencing a toothache, the first thing your dentist will do is to examine your teeth and determine the source of the pain. In some cases, decay is limited to a small area on the surface of a tooth and can be treated with an inlay or onlay. Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are used to replace a small amount of tooth structure loss due to decay or fracture. Inlays fit inside the tooth, while onlays extend over one or more cusps (points) of the tooth. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between inlays and onlays, and explain why you may need one or both!

In both instances, you might think of an inlay or onlay as the middle point between a simple cavity and a dental crown for tooth restoration.

What is an inlay?

Inlays are used to replace a small amount of tooth structure loss, typically due to decay. They fit inside the tooth and are made of either gold or composite resin. Inlays offer a more conservative approach to tooth restoration than dental crowns, as they require less removal of natural tooth structure. They are also more durable than dental fillings and are less likely to leak. Inlays are custom-made to fit your specific tooth and are bonded in place with dental cement.

What is an onlay?

Onlays are used to replace more than one-third of the tooth’s surface. They fit over the top of the tooth and can be made of either gold or composite resin. Onlays offer a more conservative approach to tooth restoration than dental crowns, as they require less removal of natural tooth structure. In addition, onlays are more durable than dental fillings. Onlays are custom-made to fit your specific tooth and are bonded in place with dental cement.

How much does an inlay or onlay cost?

The cost of an inlay or onlay depends on the tooth being treated, the type of material used, and whether you have dental insurance. Inlays and onlays are typically more expensive than dental fillings, but they are also more durable. In most cases, dental insurance will cover part of the cost of an inlay or onlay. The cost is usually in the $600-1300 range. Your location and dentist can also play a factor in the cost.

So, what’s the difference between an inlay and an onlay?

In short, an inlay fits inside the tooth while an onlay extends over one or more cusps of the tooth. Inlays are used to replace a small amount of tooth structure loss, while onlays are used to replace more than one-third of the tooth’s surface. In both instances, you might think of an inlay or onlay as the middle point between a simple cavity and a dental crown for tooth restoration.

If you think you may need an inlay or onlay, contact your dentist to schedule an appointment. Inlays and onlays are dental restorations that can help restore your smile!

How do I know if I need an inlay or an onlay?

The first step is to visit your dentist for a consultation. During the consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth and take x-rays to determine the extent of the damage. In some cases, an inlay or onlay may be recommended to restore the function and appearance of your smile.

How long do inlays and onlays last?

Inlays and onlays are made of durable materials and can last for many years. With proper care, your inlays and onlays can last a lifetime!

What are the benefits of an inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays offer many benefits, including:

  • A more conservative approach to tooth restoration than dental crowns
  • Less removal of natural tooth structure
  • More durable than dental fillings
  • Custom made to fit your specific tooth
  • Bonded in place with dental cement

What are the risks?

As with any dental procedure, there are some risks associated with inlays and onlays. These risks include:

  • Allergic reaction to the materials used
  • Infection at the site of the procedure
  • Nerve damage
  • Tissue damage
  • Tooth sensitivity

Inlays and onlays are commonly used in dentistry to restore the function and appearance of your smile. They are considered a safe treatment for moderate tooth decay/damage.

What happens during the procedure?

If you and your dentist decide that an inlay or onlay is the best treatment option for you, the next step is to schedule an appointment for the procedure. During the procedure, your dentist will first numb your mouth and surrounding tissues around the damaged tooth with a local anesthetic. Next, they will prepare your tooth by removing any damaged or decayed tissue.

Once your tooth is prepared, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth and surrounding teeth. This impression will be used to create your custom inlay or onlay. While your inlay or onlay is being made, a temporary restoration will be placed over your prepared tooth.

Once your inlay or onlay is ready, you will return to the dentist to have it placed. During this appointment, your inlay or onlay will be checked for fit and then bonded into place.

Aftercare for inlays and onlays

After your inlay or onlay is placed, you may experience some sensitivity. This is normal and should resolve within a few days. In the meantime, be sure to brush and floss as usual and avoid chewing on hard or sticky foods.

Follow-up with your dentist if you have any problems.

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