Inlays and onlays are both used for restoration of the teeth and made outside of the mouth unlike other tooth restoration methods. Both inlays and onlays have their purposes as a restorative method, and depending on your certain circumstance, it may be necessary to receive one or the other.
Both inlays and onlays are implemented in different circumstances, but are always done on a molar or premolar. The most common use of both methods is to correct a tooth, which has sustained greater damage than a filling can fix. By implementing an inlay or onlay, you can protect against further tooth damage and improve your bite.
When are Inlays and Onlays Implemented?
Inlays are most commonly implemented when a tooth has been damaged or decayed, but the cusps of the teeth are undamaged. The cusps of the teeth can be identified by finding the center of a tooth represented by a small divet. The ridges surrounding the divot are what is known as the cusps of the tooth. An inlay will be placed inside the divet, but not on the cusps of the tooth as they have not experienced damage.
Onlays, on the other hand, are most commonly implemented when both the center of the tooth and the cusps have been damaged. Onlays seek to preserve the tooth by protecting these parts of the teeth and are laid on top of the cusps to restore structure to them. An onlay can be effective if the tooth is not greatly damaged but cannot be fixed with a filling.
Both the inlay and the onlay are constructed outside of the mouth. For this reason, they are considered to be an indirect restoration method. The construction method is painless compared to other types of restorative procedures. If you would like more information on the process of an inlay or onlay, we can help. We also can give consultation on whether an inlay or an onlay is the better option for you, so please schedule an appointment if you think an inlay or onlay might be right for you.