When it comes to restoring a patient’s teeth, there are a variety of treatment options available and our dentists will help you choose the treatment or combination of treatments that’s exactly right for you. If you have a tooth with moderate decay or damage, an inlay or onlay dental restoration might be the perfect option for restoring your tooth while preserving and fortifying its remaining healthy structures.
What Are Inlays and Onlays?
Like a hybrid of fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays are a conservative type of tooth restoration that repairs, fortifies, and protects a patient’s natural teeth. Made of durable porcelain, these custom-designed dental restorations are colored to match the surrounding teeth and permanently bonded to the natural tooth. They are used to repair moderately damaged teeth that don’t have severe problems to justify a crown, yet have too much damage to be adequately repaired with a standard filling.
The Difference Between Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are quite similar. The primary difference between the two restorations is the onlay is larger and therefore replaces more missing tooth structure.
Dental Inlay - A dental inlay is designed to repair the middle section and one or two sides of a tooth. Inlays are adequate for repairing less extensive damage or decay.
Dental Onlay - Intended to repair more damage, a dental onlay is designed to extend to the tooth wall, repairing a tooth's center in addition to its rounded edges including one to three cusps.
When Is a Dental Inlay or Onlay Recommended?
Dental inlays and onlays are recommended for patients who:
Have a tooth with moderate damage or decay.
Have too little damage or decay to necessitate a crown, but too much to
Repair with a traditional filling.
Need to replace an old filling.
Whether we recommend a dental inlay (less severe damage) or onlay (more severe damage) for a patient will depend on the extent and location of the tooth’s damage. The best thing about these two restorations is that they conserve more of your natural tooth structure and this is always Dr Fotinos and Rosales’ goal.
Custom Dental Restoration in Orange, CA
Whether you’re in need of a single tooth repair with an inlay or onlay or you’re hoping to completely restore more extensive damage, our Orange dentists Dr. Christopher J. Fotinos and Dr. Randy A. Rosales can work with you to determine the right course of treatment to help you get the smile of your dreams. We’ll examine your mouth and take dental x-rays if necessary to determine the level of tooth decay and other damage that might be present. We’ll then talk with you about all of your treatment options to customize a smile restoration plan for you.
To learn more or schedule a consultation, we welcome you to contact Dr. Christopher J. Fotinos Cosmetic & General Dentistry today.