Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are used in the restoration of teeth that cannot be repaired with standard fillings and do not require full crowns. Inlays and onlays can be made of composite resin, gold, or porcelain and are constructed outside of the mouth before being bonded into the teeth. Unlike fillings, which can weaken teeth over time, inlays and onlays actually increase the strength of teeth in which they are placed. A few key differences between inlays and onlays determine their different applications at the office of our Houston inlays expert.
Inlays are smaller than onlays and are used to repair damaged areas that are within the cusps, or edges, of the chewing surfaces of molars. In some cases, our expert in inlays in Houston may use inlays to replace old fillings that are loose or damaged. When a decayed area within the cusps is so large that placement of a filling might compromise the structure of the tooth, our dentist may recommend the use of an inlay instead. Although gold inlays may be used on rear molars, repair of teeth near the front of the mouth is more likely to be performed with inlays made of resin or porcelain in order to preserve appearance.
Onlays are larger than inlays and, as their name suggests, are placed on top of the tooth by our Houston onlays expert. Whereas inlays are used to restore damage that is within the cusps, onlays are used for repairing damage that extends to the cusps of the chewing surfaces of molars. Because of their size and applications, onlays may also be called partial crowns.
Inlays and onlays generally require two visits for placement. At the first visit, our expert in onlays in Houston takes dental impressions, prepares the teeth and places temporary inlays or onlays. The second visit is used to bond the new inlays or onlays in place permanently. Daily brushing and flossing and regular check-ups by our dentist can help inlays and onlays to last for decades. To learn more about inlays and onlays and the differences between them, patients can schedule a consultation with our Houston dentist.