If you have a damaged or broken tooth and want to repair it, we have many options available depending on various factors from the size of the damage or fracture to the state of the remaining adjacent teeth.
If your tooth has extensive decay or damage and requires a large filling but isn't damaged enough to require a crown, you can opt for an onlay or inlay as the best, most cost-effective, and reliable solution. Inlays and onlays are a more conservative method to restore teeth than dental crowns and they preserve more of the natural tooth's surface. With onlays and inlays, only the tooth's affected or damaged area is removed by the dentist.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Inlays and onlays are natural-looking indirect fillings used to repair a damaged or decayed tooth’s surface in order to restore its shape and structure while also helping prevent future dental issues. They are made from porcelain, composite, or metal and cover most of the tooth’s surface to protect it from further damage.
Inlays and onlays work best for damaged or decayed teeth that need a restoration that is less extensive than a dental crown but larger than a dental filling. They are also helpful if your teeth have small cracks or fractures that require restoration.
Although inlays and onlays serve the same purpose, there are subtle distinctions between the two. Here are the main differences:
Inlays: Inlays are placed in the center of a tooth and are bonded to it. They are often used for decayed or damaged teeth where the cavities are shallow but wide and near the tooth's outer surfaces.
Onlays: Onlays are used if you have a previous large filling that has failed and needs replacement or if the cavity that needs to be repaired is large.
Advantages of Inlays and Onlays
- Inlays and onlays made from dental-grade ceramic or porcelain are easily customized to match your natural teeth, keeping them under disguise.
- They offer excellent durability and restore the tooth’s structure for a long time.
- They restore the strength of the teeth affected by cavities or other damage.
- Inlays and onlays restore the mouth's functionality as they enable you to bite and chew normally.
- They fill the cavity and seal it thus preventing infections.
To schedule a consultation with our dental experts, call any of our offices in Livonia [at (734) 425-7888] or Ann Arbor [at (734) 888-8886] or book an appointment online. We're always happy to help our patients!