Inlays and onlays are lab-made restorations that are placed on teeth when dental fillings are not enough to restore a cavity or restore tooth structure. The process of making an inlay is very similar to a crown. After the tooth is prepared, it is cemented or bonded to the tooth. Inlays and onlays can be made of gold, porcelain, and composite resin.
Porcelain and composite inlays and onlays provide a natural look. Gold inlays and onlays are best used for teeth in the back of the mouth for their durability. Inlays and onlays are sometimes cosmetically preferred over conventional fillings and are more conservative than dental crowns.
Inlays and Onlays FAQs
Want to know more? Learn about restorative treatment with inlays and onlays below.
What is the difference between inlays and onlays?
After your dentist removes your tooth decay and the tooth is clean, they can use an inlay or onlay to help restore tooth structure. Your dentist will bond Inlays and onlays to a tooth to protect and seal it after the procedure. Inlays fill the areas between the cusps of a tooth. Onlays address the damage that covers a large surface area and can cover one or more cusps of the tooth.
How long do inlays and onlays last?
With the right dental care, inlays and onlays can last patients 20 to 30 years. Patients should avoid sticky or hard foods to ensure they do not damage their restoration.
How do onlays compare to dental crowns?
Onlays require the removal of a smaller amount of tooth structure and are more cost-effective than dental crowns. Dr. Naguib offers both onlays and dental crowns and can help you determine which option works with your budget, oral health, and goals.
What is the difference between inlay and onlay and filling?
Fillings are dental materials that dentists directly apply to cavities in your tooth during a single office visit. In contrast, inlays and onlays are indirect restorations that dental lab technicians fabricate from a tooth impression in a lab. An inlay fills the space between the cusps at the center of a tooth, while an onlay covers one or more cusps or the entire biting surface of the tooth.
What is the success rate of onlays?
Dental onlays have a high success rate, often exceeding 90% over five years. This means most onlays continue to function well without needing replacement or repair within this time. However, the success of an onlay can also depend on various factors. The material the dentist used, their skill, and the patient’s oral hygiene habits are all factors. While onlays are a reliable dental restoration, they’re not a one-size-fits-all solution. It’s always best to discuss your options with your dentist.
Is getting an onlay painful?
Getting an Onlay usually involves some level of discomfort, but it shouldn’t be outright painful. Your dentist will use anesthesia to numb the area, which helps minimize any discomfort during the procedure. Afterward, you may feel some sensitivity or soreness, but over-the-counter pain relievers typically manage these symptoms well. Every patient’s experience can be different. It’s important to discuss any concerns with your dentist.
Are Inlays and Onlays Right For You?
Inlays and onlays are typically used when a filling isn’t enough to restore your tooth, but a dental crown isn’t required to take care of the damage. Your dentist can do an exam and determine the best course of action for your teeth. We take into consideration the condition of the tooth as well as your budget.
Inlays are used in the hollow of a tooth and the biting surface. They don’t impact the cusps of the tooth. Inlays fortify a tooth better than a simple filling would, making the tooth stronger.
Onlays can be used to take care of both the biting surface and the cusps of the tooth. They’re sometimes called partial crowns, as they perform the same function as a dental crown without filing down and completely covering the surface of the tooth.
The location of your tooth will also help determine the materials used for your inlay or onlay. If it’s in a tooth that’s often visible, we’ll choose a restoration material that can be matched to the color of the rest of your teeth. We want to make sure that it blends in with your smile. If the problem tooth is in the back of your mouth, gold is often used because it’s the most durable option.
You don’t have to do any extra maintenance in your oral care routine when you have an inlay or onlay. Simply brush, floss, and visit your dentist regularly as normal. We also recommend being cautious with the types of food you eat, as they can damage your restoration.
Request an Appointment Today
Do you need help restoring a tooth after damage or decay? Receive an inlay or onlay.
Call our dentists in Lancaster, CA at (661) 948-6700 or schedule a dental visit to our Lancaster dentist office online.
Call our Palmdale, CA dentist office at (661) 273-6565 or schedule a visit to our Palmdale dentist office online.
Our professional staff will help you through every step of the treatment process. We aim to provide high-quality and comfortable care to patients of all ages.