Dental inlays and onlays are lab-made fillings similar to, but more extensive than, dental fillings. These restorations are placed within the cusp tips of the teeth to repair decay from cavities or trauma. At Lutke Dental, they are custom-made and will match your smile perfectly!
While both inlays and onlays cover the tooth's biting surface, an inlay sits between the tooth's cusps, while an onlay covers one or more cusps. The difference between the restorations is purely cosmetic; one will restore more of your natural tooth structure than the other will.
Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns, and they cover one or more cusps of a tooth. They are made in a dental lab from impressions of your teeth. After your tooth is numbed and reshaped to accommodate an onlay, a temporary restoration is placed to protect your tooth while your onlay is being made. Onlays are made of the same materials as inlays and can strengthen and protect teeth with mild to moderate tooth decay or damage.
If a patient has a larger area of decay or damage or needs to replace multiple teeth, an inlay or an onlay may be recommended. An inlay is recommended when the damage only affects the biting surface of a back molar and can treat decay or damage on a single surface. An onlay is recommended if the damage extends to two surfaces of your back molars and can protect and strengthen these teeth.
Both inlays and onlays are designed and custom-crafted in a lab based on impressions of your mouth. This ensures that the inlay or onlay fits properly in your smile and protects the tooth from further decay or damage. Once placed, they are designed to blend in with your original tooth’s shape for an attractive, natural appearance.
As part of your regular checkup visits, your dentist will check each of your restorations to ensure they are still in good shape and will repair them if necessary. This helps to restore your oral health and maintain the beauty of your smile. If you have more questions about inlays or onlays or want to find out if one of these restorations is right for you, visit Lutke Dental at 5045 Lorimar Dr #110, Plano, TX 75093 or call (972) 378-4141.