Why to Get Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays or onlays restore the structure of a tooth. Sometimes onlays are called crowns, whose purpose is to cover the surface of a damaged tooth and protect it from further damage like cracking or breaking. Inlays are a type of filling, with the most common being porcelain fillings because they are the least noticeable. The porcelain filling fits into the cavity of the tooth once it has been cleaned of decay, and then it is sealed or bonded to restore function to the tooth and detract from the appearance of the cavity.
Inlays are typically ideal when teeth are chipped or damaged. This can happen due to a cavity, but teeth also weaken with age and sometimes crack or break if food it chewed incorrectly. Inlays strengthen the tooth, making them less likely to rebreak or rechip. Some are made of gold, but porcelain has become popular because it most closely matches natural teeth. Gold is stronger though, so if your teeth are particularly weak, your dentist may suggest gold instead of porcelain. The location of the dental work is also a factor in the type of material the dentist will suggest.
Onlays are used for more serious damage to the tooth. A fracture or decay my have rotted the tooth away, creating a weakened tooth. The onlay strengthens the crown of the tooth, providing a protective cap over the damage and in turn, giving the tooth a better chance at survival. The structures strengthens the tooth and protects the repairs the dentist performed to remove the decay or sharp edges of the broken tooth. It is almost always better to keep your natural tooth if it can be done in a healthy, aesthetically pleasing manner.
How It Is Done
According to Dr. Farshad Bakhytari of *Disclaimer: The information on this website is not intended to substitute for the medical expertise and advice of your healthcare provider. We encourage you to discuss any decisions about treatment or care with an appropriate healthcare provider.