Designed to restore the appearance and function of damaged teeth, inlays and onlays are a unique tooth restoration method. They are more intricate than a standard dental filling but do not involve a complete tooth overhaul like a dental crown. An impression of the tooth is taken which is sent to a dental laboratory where the inlay or onlay is created. It is then cemented into place at a follow-up appointment. The inlay or onlay will blend with the treated tooth to achieve a natural appearance. Both inlays and onlays leave a tooth strong and durable with its original structure and integrity still intact.
An inlay is typically provided when a tooth is damaged in such a way that it cannot be repaired with a normal filling, but a full dental crown would be considered excessive. Inlays are applied to the chewing surface of a tooth, but they will not cover any of the tooth’s cusps. Instead, the inlay will only cover the area inside these points.
Unlike an inlay, an onlay will cover one or more of the tooth’s cusps or points. In some cases, an onlay will cover a tooth’s entire chewing surface. An onlay is a great option for restoring a tooth when a complete crown is not needed, but a regular filling is insufficient.
In most cases, a tooth that has been restored with an inlay will be stronger than a tooth treated with a common dental filling.
If you require a tooth restoration and you would like to learn more about inlays and onlays, please call us at (262) 288-0678 to schedule an appointment.