Dental Implants – Inlays and Onlays

Dental Implants

Inlay and Onlay are part of dental implants. Patients with dental decay and cavities are conventionally advised to get a crown or cover-up. However, there are alternatives like dental Inlays and Onlays which offer promising solutions to persisting dental issues. Crowns are used when there is a considerable fracture that needs to be covered up, but generally, fillings are used to fill minor cavities. There may be scenarios where a crown is too much to cover up tooth decay or filling is too small for the same. Generally, crowns are used when there is a considerable fracture that needs to be covered and fillings are used to fill minor cavities. In your teeth to cover up the gap, many dentists use Inlays and Onlays dental procedures. They are not much intrusive like crowns which may call for the reshaping of your tooth in some way but Inlays and Onlays are more sizable than filling.

What are dental inlays and Onlays?

Inlays are molded and fitted into the chewing surface of a tooth that has been damaged through decay or injury. The cavity requires stronger materials to fortify the tooth. A dentist chooses this option when a filling will not properly strengthen the surrounding tooth. Onlays are used to cause decay and damage to the cusps of a tooth, as well as the surface of the bite. They are also considered when the cavity is too big to fill with a standard amalgam filling (an alloy of mercury with metals such as copper, silver, etc) or the tooth could be cracked due to weakness. A dentist will prefer Onlays in these circumstances as it protects the decaying area and also strengthens the strength. An Inlay area can include the cusps as well as the space between them. The main benefits of the Inlay and Onlay are how durable and long-lasting they can be. An inlay can last from 5 to 30 years depending on the dental condition. Due to a variety of factors, dental professionals cannot guarantee how long they will last.

Difference between Inlays and Onlays

As per American Dental Association (AMA), Inlays and Onlays are regarded as an indirect filling, which means they are placed inside the mouth as a solid that fits the particular size and shape of the cavity. Dentists prefer Inlays and Onlays dental procedures when the tooth has excess damage to the premolars or molars to support a simple filling. But, if there is too much damage, then crowns will be needed. Dental Inlays and Onlays are made of tooth-like material called porcelain that improves the aesthetic value of the patient. It is made of ceramic materials. The chewing area of a patient’s teeth is fitted and molded. It involves teeth damaged by injury or decay. But, Onlays are used for damage and deterioration to the cusps a of patient’s teeth as well as the biting surface. All dentists have various materials they can use to produce the Inlays that include gold, ceramics, and composite resins. Composite resins can be matched to the color of the patient’s teeth to achieve ideal aesthetics. As every material provides excellent durability for the patient undergoing the treatment procedure. The two options (Inlays and Onlays) involve removing the existing cavity using a drill and covering the space, but the technique used to fill the space is where they differ.

Advantages of Inlays and Onlays Dental Procedures

It is a quicker process that can be performed with a filling composite material or amalgam, an alloy of mercury with metals such as copper, silver, etc. is used to cover the area. One significant advantage of inlays is that they do not contract to the same magnitude as a filling. Hence, there are lower chances of restoration failing for that reason. Inlays are also more durable than fillings, and this makes them more reliable in the long term.

Comparison of Dental Inlays vs. Crowns

Inlays work similarly to crowns, but they do not cover the entire surface of the tooth. They are made from the same materials and both serve the same function, but they cover different areas of the tooth to properly protect when there is tooth decay.

Comparison of Dental Onlay vs. Crowns

A dental crown will cover the whole biting surface of a patient’s teeth as the tooth structure is situated below the gum line. Compared to a crown, a dental Onlay procedure is less aggressive as only a small part of a patient’s tooth structure needs to be removed to place an Onlay. Inlays and Onlays act as an alternative to fill in cavities and dental decay. It has greater advantages compared to crowns or fillings put in place. There may be situations when a filling is not enough, and a crown is too much to protect against dental decay. Dentists attempt to match the color as closely as possible based upon the impressions that should be taken by them. The way they are placed in the mouth is not noticeable. Porcelain or composite material is used for an inlay that is stronger and more durable than traditional fillings. It is more expensive and long-lasting.

Post-Dental Procedure Benefits

The biggest factor is how well the patient approaches their dental hygiene habits after Inlays and Onlays are put in place. It means brushing twice a day, flossing every day, and following special recommendations from the dentist. A checkup on the stability and health of the Inlays or Onlays to make sure that they are firmly in place. Patients should see their dentist for a follow-up visit. In addition to proper hygiene, patients should do what they can to reduce wear and tear on Inlays and Onlays. Grinding teeth can cause cracking and damage. If a patient is grinding in their sleep, then the dentist can provide night guards or other solutions to lessen grinding or protect the teeth. Chewy or hard food can also affect the longevity of Inlays and Onlays. Hard food can crack the material, and chewy food sticks to the material, which can cause the bonds to loosen. The Inlay and the Onlay tend to be cost-effective but the Onlay costs more if the restoration is more extensive.

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