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Everything You Want To Know About Inlays and Onlays

June 26, 2015

ThinkstockPhotos-178845072Big fillings that need to be replaced don’t necessarily need a full crown for therapy to be completed. A more conservative option is inlays and onlays – they fit into a tooth similarly to a filling, yet they are milled restorations. Inlays fit between cusps (bumps on top of your tooth) while onlays fit over one or more cusps. All of this results in a patient retaining more natural tooth structure. At the dental office of Dr. James Mace in Washington, MO, we can offer you fantastic inlay and onlay service with the gentle care you deserve. Not every situation is right for an inlay or onlay, but Dr. Mace will assess your problem and determine the best solution for you.

What Is the Difference Between an Inlay and Onlay?

Inlays and onlays are pre-formed in a lab before being bonded to a damaged or decayed tooth. The difference lies in the amount of tooth structure that has been lost to regular wear and decay. An inlay fits within the grooves that are within the cusps of your teeth. An onlay, the larger of the two, fits within the grooves but wraps up and over the cusps covering more of the tooth’s surface. Extensive damage and restoration that covers the entire chewing surface would require onlays.

Inlays and onlays made of porcelain or composite resin are a much better cosmetic choice than traditional silver fillings. The more they blend in with the natural color of your other teeth, the less people will know you’re receiving dental work. It’s a win-win situation.

The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Not only are inlays and onlays more durable, but they also require less tooth removal and are less likely to discolor over time as compared to dental fillings and crowns. There are plenty of benefits to receiving inlay and onlay treatment:

  • Tooth preservation – Most of the tooth’s natural structure remains intact.
  • Strength –They are made from stronger, more durable materials than dental fillings and crowns. They typically last longer and provide additional strength and support to damaged teeth, too.
  • Fit – Inlays and onlays are custom fit to the individual before they are placed in the mouth, providing a better fit than fillings.
  • Color – They are more resistant to stains and tooth discolorations.
  • Hygiene – They are easier to clean and bacteria are less likely to enter the affected area post treatment.

Schedule Your Appointment Today

Replace fillings or take care of other dental issues using inlays and onlays. To learn more about inlays and onlays, or to see if you’re a candidate for dental restoration, speak with our staff today or schedule an appointment. Our office in Washington, MO happily serves the communities of Marthasville, Krakow, Union, Dutzow, New Haven, Augusta and the surrounding towns.

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