Restorative dentistry has come a long way over the years and there are now several effective ways to repair decayed teeth. In this post from Peninsula Center of Cosmetic Dentistry in Los Altos CA, we are going to focus on two similar types of restorations: dental inlays and onlays.
Where possible, an inlay or an onlay can be a less invasive replacement for a complete crown and either one is usually more affordable than a porcelain crown procedure.
Inlays/onlays are “indirect fillings,” meaning that they are produced in a lab and placed whole on the tooth. A traditional “direct filling” is applied to the tooth while the material is malleable and then shaped by the dentist.
An inlay is used to correct the surface of a damaged tooth, typically to fill a small cavity or a natural pit that is at risk for decay.
Typically porcelain or composite resin are used for inlays; these materials are strong and look very natural because the color can be matched accurately to the surrounding teeth. An inlay is precisely fitted to your tooth and looks, feels, and functions like the initial tooth.
An onlay covers a larger part of the tooth. Because they cover such a large area of the tooth, they are often referred to as partial crowns. Onlays are commonly applied to the biting surface of the tooth. Just like inlays, they are exactly fitted to the damaged part of the tooth. Composite resin and porcelain are also the main materials used to create an onlay. As mentioned before, inlays and onlays serve a vital role in restorative and cosmetic dentistry.
At Peninsula Center of Cosmetic Dentistry in Los Altos CA we have repaired many smiles with inlays and onlays. Patients from Daly City, Milpitas, and Saratoga come to our practice for complete general dentistry, and for special services like veneers and extractions. Call to schedule an appointment today!
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