You’ve probably thought of getting crowns or fillings for dental decay. While these two methods might be the right treatment for cavities, there are times when the decay is too severe for a filling but not severe enough for a crown.
This is where dental inlays and onlays come in to preserve as much of your natural tooth as possible. They can offer relief from chewing pain, tooth degeneration, and cavity pain. What’s the difference between an inlay and only in dentistry?
What Is a Dental Inlay?
If your tooth decay is on the smaller side, a regular filling might suffice. However, suppose your cavity is on the larger size and inside the tooth without exceeding the cusp, your dentist may use an inlay as the best option. Inlays are molded according to the tooth’s chewing surface to fit perfectly on the hollow of the tooth and not the cusps.
The dentist will also match the color of the tooth so that it’s not noticeable. An inlay may also be used when your tooth is cracked on the inside.
What Is Dental Onlays?
Onlays are used when the cusps are damaged, and there is decay and a biting surface. While an inlay lies between the cusps, an onlay covers the tooth, including the cusp and a part of the outside of the tooth. A dentist will recommend an onlay if the cavity is too big to fit standard silver fillings.
As a result, an only might be the best option if you have a lot of decay around the cusp and the middle part. The dentist prepares your tooth in the same way as a filling by drilling and cleaning the cavity after numbing the mouth.
An onlay is then placed over the cavity before an impression is taken for a permanent onlay to be manufactured. Onlays are also referred to as “partial crowns” because they cover just a portion of the tooth instead of the entire crown.