What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays? Here's All You Need to Know

What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays? Here's All You Need to Know

Jan 01, 2021

Do you have cracked, chipped, or damaged teeth that are affecting your smile? If so, you should visit our dentist in Marshfield, MA, so that we can help you restore your smile. Having such dental issues can affect your oral health since they interfere with your tooth’s structural integrity. This can lead to more damage, infection, or even tooth loss.

The beauty of living in this era is that we have a plethora of options in general dentistry in Marshfield, MA, that can treat such structural issues. Among these options are dental inlays and onlays in Marshfield, MA.

Dental inlays and onlays in Marshfield, MA, are excellent options that are used to save damaged teeth.

What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

Dental inlays and onlays are effective tooth restoration options. They are used to restore teeth that have undergone a specific type of damage. In most scenarios, inlays and onlays are referred to as indirect tooth restorations.

Inlays are used to repair tiny fissures and minor breakages. In certain scenarios, they can be used in place of dental fillings to restore your tooth’s structural integrity. Just like fillings, inlays are designed to fit inside the tooth.

On the other hand, onlays are used when there is significant damage. Onlays are designed to fit inside the tooth, and then they spill over onto the chewing surface, with the aim of repairing one or more cusps. They are also called partial crowns since they do not cover a whole tooth, only a section.

Depending on your needs, you may receive these two types of inlays and onlays:

  • Direct inlays and onlays. These are made in the office while you wait.
  • Indirect inlays and onlays. These are typically made in a laboratory and will need additional time to create. Hence, you will need two dental visits before you get your customized inlays or onlays.

Why Would You Need Inlays and Onlays?

Our dentist in Marshfield, MA, may recommend that you get an inlay or onlay under the following circumstances:

  • Tooth decay, which results from cavities caused by bacteria that corrode the teeth and weaken your teeth’s structural integrity. Inlays and onlays can be used to correct small damages present on your teeth.
  • Cracked, chipped, or fractured teeth that cannot be restored using dental fillings and don’t need the extensive work that accompanies root canal therapy or crowns.

Types of Inlays and Onlays

For years, inlays and onlays were primarily made from gold. Nowadays, they can be created from different materials, including:

  • Gold

Gold onlays and inlays were the preferred choices since gold is a durable material. Gold is sturdy and malleable and can fit perfectly in the cusps that need to be repaired. Besides being sturdy, gold is resistant to stains. The only drawback is that some patients don’t consider it aesthetically appealing. Also, they are more costly compared to the other types of dental inlays and onlays.

  • Porcelain

Porcelain inlays and onlays are also sturdy and durable. Another plus is that they are less prone to fracture as compared to traditional fillings. They are also stain-resistant and mimic the look of your teeth, so it blends well. This increases their aesthetic appeal, hence the reason why most patients gravitate towards porcelain inlays and onlays.

  • Composite Resin

Composite inlays and onlays are made from a combination of acrylic and powdered glass-like material. Direct composite onlay is applied during a single visit.

One downside is that they are less malleable than porcelain or gold inlays and onlays, which means they are slightly more prone to fracture. They also aren’t resistant to staining.

Inlay Vs. Onlay, Which One Suits You?

Upon examining your teeth, our dentist can tell you whether an inlay or an onlay is the appropriate choice in your circumstance. This is dependent on the level of damage or the amount of tooth remaining.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Some of the benefits that come with inlays and onlays include:

  • They aid in preserving your natural tooth as much as possible
  • They make cleaning your teeth much easier
  • They don’t shrink
  • With proper care, most inlays and onlays can last up to 30 years

If you need dental inlays and onlays in Marshfield, MA, you can contact our dentist at Marshfield Dental Group to schedule an appointment.

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