Your smile is important for many reasons. While a healthy and strong smile allows you to eat and speak properly, a healthy and appealing smile can improve your appearance and self-esteem. Unfortunately, issues do arise which can affect your oral health, but help is available. If you are ready to restore your smile, this guide will help you understand the differences between inlays and onlays.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
One of the first things you need to know is what inlays and onlays are. Basically, they are a type of indirect filling that is manufactured outside the mouth.
Created in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the tooth by your dentist, inlays and onlays are good options for restoring a minor amount of tooth damage that has occurred through injury or tooth decay. You may confuse inlays and onlays with direct fillings, which is a common treatment used by dentists to fill cavities.
Differences Between Inlays and Onlays
An inlay is used when a simple, more direct filling cannot be used to fill a larger cavity.
Inlays are created in one single piece that will fit the exact size and shape of the cavity. Once designed and created, the inlay will be cemented directly into the cavity to restore the tooth back to a healthy and appealing state.
Onlays are a bit more involved, but they are not as large or extensive as a crown. Onlays are made into one single piece, but they are used to cover a section of the tooth cusp.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
If you have a cavity or tooth damage, treatment is crucial for a few reasons.
Your dentist will need to protect the tooth from further damage by removing the infected pulp and protecting the tooth's interior from food and bacteria to avoid an infection.
Restoring a damaged tooth is also important for reducing pain or discomfort that may occur when eating and drinking. Of course, restoring an infected or damaged tooth is also necessary for your smile's overall look.
Inlays and onlays are good cosmetic dentistry solutions because they do not require an extensive application. Unlike crown placement, less tooth and tissue reduction are necessary when placing inlays and onlays.
In most cases, inlays and onlays are created out of porcelain. Porcelain is not only durable, but it also offers a natural look that will match your existing teeth well.
Improving and protecting your smile is possible with inlays and onlays. This guide will help you understand what they are and if they are the right option for your cosmetic dentistry needs. If you're searching for cosmetic dental treatments to improve your smile, talk to an experienced dental professional today.