Sometimes removing tooth decay effectively requires the removal of a portion of your tooth. The removed portion is replaced with a porcelain inlay or onlay that is the color of your natural tooth. Inlays and onlays are strong and durable. They require no special care outside of your normal good dental hygiene routine of brushing and flossing and will last for years to come.

Inlay or Onlay or Filling

Sometimes, your tooth will suffer damage or decay that requires more than simple filling, but that isn’t extensive enough to require a crown. In these cases, your dentist will recommend an inlay or onlay depending on the damage. Both inlays and onlays are created in a laboratory from impressions your dentist will take of your damaged tooth. A filling, on the other hand, would be applied directly to the cavity by your dentist in the office.

Inlay vs. Onlay: What’s the Difference?

The difference is slight. Similar to a filling, an inlay is shaped to fit the space near the center of your tooth, so it is smaller than an onlay. An onlay is larger. It’s shaped to fit over the biting space or the space between your teeth. Whether you need an inlay or onlay depends on how much of your tooth was removed due to damage or decay.

Why Porcelain Inlays or Onlays?

  • This material allows it to be bonded to the tooth, which can make your tooth stronger.
  • Because it’s the color of your tooth, it looks more natural than metal materials that were previously used.
  • Hot or cold foods or drinks will not affect porcelain by making it expand or contract, which could crack your tooth.

Your Omni Dental dentist customizes an inlay or onlay to fill the space left behind when part of your tooth is removed. This is just one of the many ways your Omni dental team can help make your smile look good as new, and make your oral health better than ever.

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