Dental inlays and onlays are tooth restorations that are used to strengthen decayed or damaged teeth. They are often considered as the middle ground between a filling and a crown, most often being used to strengthen the back teeth.
It is possible to make inlays and onlays from a range of different materials. The most commonly used materials are resin and porcelain, but inlays and onlays can also be made from gold. Most people choose to have porcelain restorations as they blend in with the natural teeth. They can also be used to replace metal fillings.
Difference Between A Dental Inlay and an Onlay
An inlay is fitted in the grooves of the tooth within the cusps while an onlay is fitted in the grooves and around the cusps. An onlay is used for more extensive cases where the entire biting surface is damaged.
The process of fitting inlays and onlays generally involves two sessions. During the first session the decayed or damaged tooth tissue will be removed and the tooth cleaned thoroughly, after which an impression will be created and sent off to the laboratory where technicians can create the new restoration to a perfect fit. The inlay or onlay is fixed into position and then your dentist will polish and smooth the tooth for a perfect finish.
The procedure is carried out under local anaesthetic to prevent any pain and discomfort. Dental inlays and onlays should last for several years provided that you look after your teeth and see your dentist on a regular basis.
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