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Porcelain Inlays / Onlays

Sometimes the rear teeth can have some mild decay and need interventions. Dental inlays and onlays are restorations that are used to repair rear teeth. They are used to repair teeth when a filling is not enough and a crown is too much for the area that needs to be filled in. In these cases, dentists will use the alternative solution, inlays or onlays. There are some differences between inlays and onlays:

Inlays: An Inlay fills in cavities and hollows in a tooth in the areas between the cusps. Inlays are molded and fitted into the chewing surface of a tooth that has been damaged through decay or injury. When they are being prepared, the dentist will attempt to colour match them as close as possible to the tooth that is being repaired so that do not stand out and look natural. The material used for an inlay can be either porcelain or a composite material that is stronger and more durable than traditional fillings. This makes inlays generally more expensive, but also longer lasting.

Onlays: Also called “partial crowns”, an Onlay will not just fill in cavities in those spaces, but they can work for a larger area, including the cusps. Onlays are used for decay and damage to the cusps of a tooth as well as the biting surface. When a cavity is too big to fill with standard amalgam fillings, or there is a risk that the tooth might crack due to weakness, an Onlay is a better option to fill the cavity. An onlay protects the decaying area as well as strengthens the tooth. With an onlay, the tooth structure is preserved and can be used to repair area of the tooth that can include the cusps as well as the space in between.

If taken care of properly with regular dental hygiene like regular brushing and flossing, these can last between 5 to 30 years. The longevity of the inlays and onlays will depend largely upon the oral hygiene a patient practices. Also, sometimes factors like grinding teeth, eating hard and chewy foods can cause wear and tear sooner than expected. It is also important for the patient to get regular checkups to ensure that the inlays and onlays are not damaged or loosened. Give us a call today at Mosaic Smile Care to find out if your teeth can be repaired using inlays or onlays. If you are nervous about the procedure, we have options for sedation as well.
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