What are inlays and onlays dental ?
There are various restorations available in dentistry when tooth damage occurs. Inlays and onlays are such examples, and some dentists use them instead of dental crowns wherever possible. They are also known as indirect fillings. These fillings fit well, and are strong and durable. Therefore, many dentists consider them reliable for repairing decayed or physically damaged teeth. Inlays and onlays are beneficial to patients in terms of both function and aesthetics.
How are inlays and onlays dental different from normal dental fillings?
The regular fillings are molded into the patient’s teeth at the first visit. However, inlays and onlays are indirectly fabricated in a dental laboratory prior to being placed in the patient’s mouth. Bonding helps to keep the inlays and onlays strongly in position. When the dental material is bonded in the middle of the cusps, it is known as an ‘inlay’. If material is bonded onto the tooth over a dental cusp or placed over the complete biting surface, it is known as an ‘onlay’.
What are the benefits of this type of restoration?
Inlays and onlays are considered the more conservative approach when compared to dental crowns¸ when dental restorations are concerned. They are preferred by many dentists as they preserve the natural tooth to the maximum. In the case of dental crowns and bridges, the natural tooth needs to be prepared to receive the restoration and that means shaving off a portion of the tooth. This step is not needed for inlays and onlays and that means they protect the structure of the natural tooth.
This type of restoration is more cost effective for patients with mild tooth decay (dental crowns are usually used for more severe decay) and for those with decay in between teeth, who do not need full coverage dental crowns.