Dental inlays and onlays are restorations used to repair rear teeth with mild to moderate decay or cracked and fractured teeth that are not sufficiently damaged to need a crown. Ideal candidates for inlay or onlay work typically have too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to be successfully treated using a filling, but have enough healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. This allows the dentist to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure. They are used in the countries of northern Europe because they guarantee an excellent aesthetic and durability.
The Onlay, as the word indicates by its English prefix (on = above) is placd on the surface of the tooth. A dental inlay fills the space in between the cusps, or rounded edges, at the center of the tooth’s surface. Thedental onlay works like an inlay but covers one or more cusps or the entire biting surface of the tooth. Because of their extensive overage, dental onlays are sometimes referred to as “partial crowns”. It is used to reconstruct a tooth that has suffered because of bad oral hygiene and which has caries on the surface. The materials used can be visible ( gold ) and invisible (ceramic).
Unlike the crown, Onlay can be done without devitalizing the tooth. The final result will be a perfect integration of the material with the tooth, improving the aesthetics and functionality.
An inlay is a type of filling in which the material used is placed inside the cavity of the tooth. In this sense it is very similar to a normal amalgam or composite white filling.
The materials used for Inlay are:
The advantage of an inlay prosthesis is a natural looking colour which ensures continuity with the rest of your teeth. They are strong, durable and less likely to discolour over time. Plus they are attractive looking and enhance the overall appearance of your teeth.
When is inlay recommended?
- When the patient has a very large caries and wants a solution that lasts for a long period of time.
- To change an old filling.
- To rebuild a broken and devitalized tooth.
- To restore malocclusion.
- For a better aesthetics.
- When the patient is good at dental hygiene.