What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays sit inside the cusps of the tooth, and are a more substantial reconstruction compared to a filling, while not being as drastic as a crown. Onlays are suggested for similar reasons to an inlay and extend over one or more cusps of the tooth. Onlays are used when a significant amount of deterioration has occurred to the tooth, however, the deterioration may not have extended as far as requiring a crown.
What are they made of?
Inlays and onlays can be created from porcelain, gold, or composite resin. The chosen material is bonded to the damaged area of the tooth to prevent further damage. At G Dental, we choose to use composite resin, as this material can be manipulated to imitate the colour and translucency of your natural teeth, while maintaining a natural appearance. Inlays and onlays are bonded directly to your tooth using a special high-strength resin, are extremely durable, and when taken care of correctly, these treatments have the ability to last for up to ten years.
What does the treatment involve?
You should be prepared for your treatment to require up to two appointments before completion. During your first visit, depending on your case, either the filling or decaying matter will be removed and the tooth will be prepared for your treatment. An impression of your tooth will then be created to be sent to the dental lab for your enhancement to be created. In the meantime, your dentist will apply a temporary sealant on the tooth to minimise discomfort until your next appointment. Your appointment to place your new inlay or onlay will also be made during your first appointment.
Your second appointment will begin with the temporary sealant being removed and your enhancement being checked to ensure it correctly fits your tooth prior to proceeding. Once the fit is deemed satisfactory, your inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish. The final finish should resemble your natural tooth and flow seamlessly into your remaining tooth structure. Typically, you will then be asked to run your tongue over the area once treatment has been completed to ensure there are no sharp sections.
If you are aware that you require dental treatment, but haven’t yet decided if you would benefit from a filling, inlay, onlay or crown, contact our friendly staff at G Dental to arrange an appointment. We can assess your current oral health, discuss your requirements and help you decide which solution is best for you. Treatments targeting decay should be undertaken as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration and discomfort.
Inlays and Onlays Greensborough
Inlays and Onlays FAQs
What are inlays?
Dental inlays are a restorative dental procedure employed to repair teeth with mild to moderate decay or teeth that have cracks or fractures, without requiring a full dental crown. These custom-made fillings are typically crafted in a dental lab and are then permanently cemented onto the tooth by your dentist. Unlike traditional fillings that are moulded into place within the mouth during a dental visit, inlays provide a durable, long-lasting solution that can significantly improve a tooth’s strength and longevity. They seamlessly blend into the prepared tooth cavity, preserving the natural tooth structure and providing a smooth, polished surface. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to consult with your dental care provider to determine the most suitable treatment option tailored to your specific dental needs.
What are onlays?
Dental onlays, much like inlays, are a type of restorative treatment used to repair teeth that have suffered from decay or damage. However, onlays differs from inlays in that they are used when the damage extends to the cusps (pointed parts) of the teeth. Onlays are custom-made in a dental lab before being adhered to the tooth with a strong resin. The result is a seamlessly integrated, natural-looking restoration that strengthens the tooth and prevents any further damage. Onlays are essentially a conservative approach that helps preserve as much of the healthy tooth structure as possible while providing a durable and long-lasting solution. As always, it’s best to consult your dental health provider to determine the most suitable treatment option for your individual case.
Do onlays and inlays replace crowns?
Inlays and onlays serve similar purposes to dental crowns as they all aim to restore the structure and function of the tooth. However, they are not replacements for crowns, but rather alternative options that are used based on the extent and location of the tooth damage.
Inlays and onlays are often considered in situations where the tooth damage is not extensive enough to necessitate a crown. They are a more conservative approach that preserves more of your natural tooth structure. Inlays are used when the damage is within the cusps of the tooth, while onlays are used when the damage extends beyond one or more cusps.
A dental crown, on the other hand, is used when the tooth is extensively damaged, decayed, or cracked. A crown covers the entire tooth, providing a new surface and reinforcing the tooth’s strength.
The choice between inlays, onlays, or crowns depends on the specific circumstances of the tooth’s health, and this decision should be made in consultation with a dental professional.
How long should a dental inlay last?
With the right level of dental care and maintenance, your dental inlay should last as long as 20 to 30 years. To help make your inlay last as long as possible, we recommend that you avoid eating foods that are particularly hard or sticky as these can cause damage. It is also important that you maintain good oral hygiene habits to ensure that your restorations remain clean and hygienic.
What is the difference between an inlay and an onlay?
Dental inlays are typically used to repair damage to the cusp of the tooth. During the process of placing an inlay, decay is removed from the teeth and the area is cleaned before the inlay is carefully secured to the tooth. The inlay works by protecting and sealing the tooth from further damage. Dental onlays, on the other hand, are often recommended when it is necessary to repair damage that has affected a large surface area of a tooth. An onlay is able to cover one or more cusps.