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What Is The Difference Between Inlays And Onlays?

Posted on 4/12/2021 by Dr. Brandon Cooley
What Is The Difference Between Inlays And Onlays? Just like crowns and bridges, onlays and inlays are common dentistry parlance and it makes sense to simplify the terminology to help you understand what each is and does. This also helps you make educated and well-informed decisions concerning which best suits your need. Inlays and onlays are both used for the same reasons which include repairing a decaying tooth and are also made of similar substances. However, this is where their similarities end.

When to Use Inlays and Onlays?

In certain dental conditions such as a decaying tooth where a simplistic filling may not suffice and a crown may be a bit too much, it makes sense to find a middle ground. That is where inlays and onlays come into the picture. Each method is implemented depending on the extent of decay and what surface of the tooth needs protection from further decay.

Distinguishing the Function Between Inlays and Onlays

An inlay is used to protect cavities on the chewing surface of a tooth whereas an onlay covers a larger surface area on a tooth. This includes the entire cusp and unlike a crown does not cover or protect the whole tooth. Onlays function almost like a crown but are designed differently. They cover only the exposed chewing surface and the cusps. Oftentimes an onlay is seen as a convenient option to a crown.

If you suffer from painful cavities, pain, or decay, we can help you decide the best course or method that will help provide relief. Both inlays and onlays are made using similar materials such as resin composite, gold, and sometimes even ceramic. A comforting thought about composite resin is they can be made the same shade as your original teeth. This cannot be seen on your teeth as compared to gold or other alloys. If you would like to learn more about inlays and onlays, give us a call right away and our professionals will explain both procedures to you.

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10627 19th Ave SE, Suite B
Everett, WA 98208-5147

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