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The Difference Between Inlays & Onlays

Inlays and onlays are similar dental treatments that strengthen and restore damaged teeth, giving them a new and brighter appearance. However, there are a few key differences that depend on the location and extent of the damage.

What Are Inlays?
treat damage & decay within your cusps, which are the bumpy ridges on your back teeth. Inlays are most often made of porcelain and composite resin to match the natural color of your teeth, but they can also be made of gold. Getting inlays typically needs two visits to your dentist, the first of which is spent taking an impression of the damaged tooth for a custom fit. After this, a temporary inlay is placed until the second visit when the inlay is bonded permanently to the tooth. Inlays are perfect for treating decay and other damage, and can also be used to replace unsightly old fillings for a more attractive natural appearance.

What Are Onlays?
Onlays are very similar to inlays in that they are also used to treat damage and decay. However, the main difference is that onlays are used to treat more extensive damage, especially when the damage extends to more than one surface of the tooth. Onlays are often called partial crowns because of how much of the tooth they tend to cover. The process of getting an onlay is also similar to that of getting an inlay. An impression is taken in one visit, a temporary onlay is set, and in the second visit the permanent onlay is secured to the tooth. Onlays are typically made of porcelain or composite to give a more natural and aesthetically pleasing look to the tooth, but they are also available in gold.

Ultimately, inlays and onlays are both used to restore the appearance of damaged teeth and restore their strength. They are both used to treat cusp teeth, which are the teeth in the back of the mouth. Inlays are primarily used on the chewing surface of the tooth, while onlays tend to cover more surface area. Both are great treatment options for decayed and damaged teeth, or even to replace old metal fillings. To see if inlays or onlays are right for you, call us at (562) 434-6414 to schedule your next appointment.

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