When a tooth experiences damage or decay that is too extensive to repair with a standard filling, an inlay or onlay can be used to restore its appearance and function. Compared with dental crowns, these treatment methods retain more of a tooth’s natural structure and integrity, essentially keeping the patient’s original tooth intact. Inlays and onlays leave teeth strong and durable, and they look remarkably natural.
A dental inlay consists of filling material bonded to the interior portion of a tooth’s chewing surface. An inlay will not cover any of the cusps, or points, of the tooth, only the area inside these points. Inlays are generally performed when a tooth is damaged in such a way that it cannot be repaired with a traditional filling, but a dental crown would be considered excessive. In most cases, a tooth that has been treated with a dental inlay will be stronger and more durable than a tooth that has received a traditional filling.
A dental onlay is used when a tooth requires a repair that extends over one or more of its cusps or points. The filling material in an onlay is bonded to one or more of these points. In some circumstances, it may be necessary to cover the entire chewing surface of a tooth with a dental onlay. Teeth that have been treated with an onlay are strong and durable, making the treatment a good alternative to a full dental crown in many cases.
Dr. Bosler has been named the best dentist in Solano County, California for seven years running! If you would like to learn more about dental inlays or onlays, please call our practice at (707) 449-3661 to schedule an appointment.