Inlays and onlays are dental restorations. They can be used in place of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or structural damage. Inlays and onlays are fabricated indirectly in a dental lab before being fitted and bonded to the damaged tooth by the dentist.
The dental inlay fills the space between the cusps, at the center of the tooth’s surface. Dental onlay is similar to inlay, but covers one or more cups or the entire biting surface of the tooth. An onlay is necessary when the extent of the damage is greater.
What are the benefits of inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays are durable, thanks to the tough, hard wearing materials they are made from. Comparing to dental fillings that are composed of composite resine or amalgam, in most cases inlays and onlays are crafted from porcelain. This material can strengthen a tooth by up to 75 percent and last up to 25 to 30 years with proper care.
They prolong tooth life, and prevent the need for further dental treatment in the future.
Inlays and onlays are more conservative than dental crowns, that’s why they allow the dentist to preserve more of the tooth’s natural structure.
They are made with the help of the modern CAD-CAM technology, that combines advanced comuter software, a 3D scanner and a milling unit. This technology allows precise fitting.
Inlay/onlay doesn’t contain any allergic material, therefore it can be safely used.
Why is inlay/onlay better than a dental filling in case of large dental caries?
It is much more difficult to fix the filling safely in such a broad cavity. It’s impossible to protect the undamaged surface of the tooth with a simple filling. Where the filling and the natural tooth meet (edge), injury may happen, that can lead to secondary tooth decay. In case of extended dental caries, the area beneath the gum is also damaged, which makes it impossible to create a tooth filling safely and it may lead to secondary tooth decay too.
How to care my teeth after I got my dental inlay/onlay?
After dental inlay/onlay was created, the patient should pay more attention to oral hygiene than usual. Regular (at least morning and evening daily) brushing, oral care with the correct technique (dental flossing, mouthwash) and dental check-ups are essential for maintaining oral health and keep the teeth healthy.
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