Dental inlays and onlays are used on teeth at the back of the mouth in cases where a filling wouldn’t be necessary or possible. They are also used when old fillings are ready to be removed or replaced. Where there is significant damage to a tooth, an inlay may be used rather than a large filling which would further weaken the remaining structure of the tooth. Inlays and onlays can also be used in cases where fitting a crown would require removing too much tooth material to provide a stable structure.
What is the difference between an Inlay and an Onlay?
Dental inlays serve a similar purpose to fillings in that they are placed inside the tooth. A dental onlay can be used to, as you might imagine, fit over the edges of the tooth; effectively to sit on top of the tooth and protect it from further damage or erosion.
What are the benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays?
The main advantage of inlays and onlays is their longevity and durability. Due to their composition, they generally last much longer than a traditional filling. Not only that, but they can help to actually strengthen the tooth by up 75% rather than weaken it.
The greatest advantage of an inlay or onlay is that the life of the affected tooth is extended and the need for further dental treatment is delayed.