What Are the Onlays and Inlays?

Onlays and inlays Easton PA

Inlays and onlays are fillings made out of porcelain. This technique replaces old metal amalgam fillings or most common white composite fillings. In the article below, Dr. Moghadam, the best dentist in Easton, PA, explains the must-knows about onlays and inlays.

When you visit our dental office in Easton, PA, we will make your inlays/onlays right here in our office. Other dental offices usually have to complete this type of dental service in two visits because they have to outsource to a dental laboratory. Our team will be able to fill the cavity all in one visit.

How Are Inlays and Onlays Different From Each Other?

Inlays and onlays vary in scale. The inlay is thinner, covering the space that is limited to the region within the cushion of the tooth (the small bumps on top of each tooth). The onlay is wider, running over one or more cusps to the outer surface of the tooth. They’re very similar in many ways,” says Dr. Moghadam. 

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays 

Many dentists agree that inlays and onlays provide excellent coverage for at-risk teeth. Below are some of the benefits inlays and onlays offer:

  • Instead of metal, they’re made of porcelain which better compliments your overall smile. Therefore, no one will know if you have a filling or not. 
  • They’re attached to a tooth. In other words, the inlay/onlay is bonded to the tooth by light-cured dental cement. Again, this makes them part of a tooth, not a separate object stuffed into a tooth, like old metal fillings.
  • The bonding strengthens the tooth. They apply inward force, pulling on the periphery of the tooth, holding the tooth together. Metal fillings, on the other hand, apply external force, pressing against the tooth’s periphery and thereby weakening the tooth.
  • They’re tough and durable. They will extend the life of the tooth forever with good daily treatment.

Any Disadvantages of Inlays/Onlays?

There aren’t any disadvantages unless you choose a dentist that requires two visits for placement, says our friend Dr. Wade, a dentist in Pinellas Park, FL. It’s much easier when you can see a modern dentist who offers same-day visits.  

How’s the Onlay Different From a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are much larger than porcelain inlays/onlays. Here’s a brief overview of how they’re different:

  • Inlays are for small caves.
  • Onlays are used when the tooth is moderately decayed but still has sufficiently viable tissue to retain the filler.
  • Crowns are used when the tooth no longer has viable tissue, and a whole new outer surface is needed. Just the stub remains of the original tooth, and the crown is permanently fixed to the top of the stub.
  • When decay affects not only the tooth but also its root, the crown must be paired with endodontic therapy – a root canal to reinforce the root.

If both a tooth and its root are so damaged that they need to be replaced, a dental implant may be used to have a new root. A fresh tooth of porcelain is fixed to the top of the implant.

Inlays and onlays are just one way our dentists can restore your smile. Depending on your unique smile, we can provide same-day crowns, dental implants, porcelain veneers, dentures, and more! Contact College Hill Dental Group to learn about the dental services we offer.