How long does tooth filling last and how to extend lifespan?
August 23, 2023
How to clean dental crowns properly and extend their life
October 18, 2023

Restorative Treatments: What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?


When it comes to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile, modern dentistry offers a variety of advanced treatments and solutions. Dental inlays and onlays are two such options that often provide an excellent balance between aesthetics and functionality.

These restorative treatments have gained popularity for their ability to repair damaged teeth while preserving their natural appearance. Here we’ll explain what are dental inlays and onlays and how they can benefit your oral health.

Understanding Dental Inlays and Onlays

Dental inlays and onlays are restorative procedures designed to treat teeth with moderate to severe decay or damage that is beyond what a simple filling can repair. They are commonly used to restore teeth that have suffered from cavities or fractures, offering a more conservative approach than dental crowns.

Dental Inlays

these-restorative-treatments-have-gained-popularity-for-their-ability-to-repair-damaged-teeth-while-preserving-their-natural-appearance-dental-alvarezAn inlay is a custom-made filling created from porcelain, composite resin, or sometimes gold. It is used when the damage or decay is confined within the cusps (the raised points) of a tooth. Inlays are designed to precisely fit into the prepared space, sealing off the damage and providing strength to the tooth’s structure.

Dental Onlays

Similar to inlays, onlays are also custom-made restorations that are slightly larger. They cover a larger portion of the tooth’s surface, including one or more cusps. Onlays are ideal when the damage is more extensive but doesn’t require a full dental crown. They provide a durable solution that helps maintain the tooth’s natural appearance.

Now that we have established what are dental inlays and onlays, let’s address another common question among patients: What is the difference between fillings and inlays/onlays? Typically, fillings can be done with the same materials as inlays and onlays, the difference is that fillings can be done in a single visit and are applied on a very small space to cover a tooth after a decay was removed. Inlays and onlays are made in a dental lab, which takes more time due to the precision of the piece and the process of elaboration, these can be done of resin and ceramic.

Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays

  • Preservation of Healthy Tooth Structure:
    Unlike dental crowns, which require more extensive tooth reduction, inlays, and onlays allow dentists to preserve a greater amount of the natural tooth structure. This helps maintain the tooth’s strength and longevity.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing:
    Inlays and onlays are custom-made to match the color and shape of your natural teeth, ensuring a seamless blend with your smile. This makes them an attractive option for restoring teeth in visible areas.
  • Durability and Longevity:
    Both inlays and onlays are known for their exceptional durability. They are made from strong materials that can withstand the forces of biting and chewing, providing long-lasting results.
  • Minimal Discomfort:
    The process of getting dental inlays and onlays is minimally invasive, causing less discomfort compared to more extensive treatments. Most patients experience little to no pain during the procedure.
  • Protection for Weakened Teeth
    Inlays and onlays provide an added layer of protection for teeth that have been weakened by damage or decay. They help prevent further deterioration while restoring functionality.

Dental inlays and onlays offer a versatile and effective solution for treating damaged or decayed teeth. They combine the benefits of durability, aesthetics, and tooth preservation, making them an excellent choice for patients seeking long-term restorative solutions. If you’re dealing with moderate to severe tooth damage, consulting with your dentist about the possibility of getting dental inlays or onlays could be the key to restoring your smile’s health and beauty.

Get these or a different dental treatment in Tijuana with us. If this article, visit: What Are Dental Sealants, and How Do They Protect Your Teeth? or What Happens if I Don’t Complete My Dental Treatment? To know more about other dental solutions.

Dental Alvarez is a dental clinic in Tijuana with the best cosmetic dentist in tijuana. Make an appointment and start taking care of your oral health.

Comments are closed.