Onlays and Inlays are two types of fillings which are used to repair a damaged tooth or to stop the spread of tooth decay. They are different from standard fillings because they are a two appointment procedure (like a crown) because they are made in the dental laboratory.
One of the differences is that a direct filling requires one visit whereas an indirect filling, such as an inlay and onlay requires a two visits.
These types of fillings are an alternative to a cosmetic crown and are beneficial to individuals with a mild form of tooth decay. They choose to retain as much of the natural tooth as they can, and want a filling that will fit the colour of their other teeth.
Inlays and onlays are made from a couple of different materials.
There are two kinds of inlays and onlays:
- Ceramic inlays and onlays
- Composite inlays and onlays
What are inlays and onlays?
They are usually bigger than dental fillings; however, they are smaller than a crown.
An inlay is very similar to a filling, but it is positioned within the cusps of the chewing surface of the tooth.
Onlays on the other hand are bigger than inlays, covers a larger surface, and replaces cusps that have decayed.
An inlay and/or onlay can stay for up to 30 years which is considerably longer than a standard amalgam filling.