All You Need to Know About Dental Inlays and Onlays

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What Are Dental Inlays and Onlays?

They are indirect dental restorations that dentists in Pinellas Park use to repair and restore damaged teeth. Onlays and inlays treatment is unique because it is only employed as an alternative to other dental restorations. Ideally, a dentist in Confident Smile Dentistry will use inlays and onlays treatment when the restoration material necessary is too big to be a dental filling but not big enough to merit a dental crown.

Inlays and onlays can feature any dental material, including gold, but they mostly feature porcelain. Porcelain indirect fillings improve the aesthetics of your smile because they are tooth-colored and very natural-looking.

Difference Between Inlays and Onlays

In the literal sense, the difference between these two dental restorations is that onlays near you cover a larger surface of your natural tooth than inlays. Technically, an inlay only restores the hole of the tooth cavity, without covering the cusps of your teeth. On the other hand, onlays cover both the cavity and the cusps of teeth. In this sense, onlays become like partial dental crowns, which is why dentists use them as alternatives to dental crowns. Inlays are typically used as alternatives for dental fillings like amalgams or composite fillings when they are inefficient for properly restoring a diseased tooth. When you have a minor dental cavity, you can get a tooth filling. Anything beyond a small structural problem on your tooth can only benefit from indirect dental restorations.

The Procedure for Getting Dental Inlays and Onlays

Since onlays and inlays are indirect fillings, their preparation happens in dental laboratories. The initial step involves a dentist preparing your tooth. The idea is to remove any damaged tooth structure, leaving the healthy part of your tooth intact. After preparing your tooth, the dentist will take its impressions as measurements for the accurate creation of inlays or onlays. Since the process may take a while, your dentist will place a temporary dental crown over the prepared tooth. The crown will protect your tooth within the next 7-14 days as your inlay or onlay is in preparation. The procedure takes time because it is intricate and requires keenness to customize a perfectly fitting inlay or onlay.

On a second dental visit, your dentist will install your dental restoration. The inlay or onlay will be a single solid installation tailored perfectly to fit the space within your tooth structure. The process requires using dental cement to adhere the porcelain restoration to your natural tooth.

What Is the Cost of Inlays and Onlays?

The costs vary on account of the type of material in use. While porcelain is the most common material for making dental inlays and onlays, they can feature gold or composite resin. The differences in the types of material will affect the outcome of your treatment, more so regarding cost. You should expect your treatment cost to range between $650-$1,200 per tooth for inlays and $650-$1,200 per tooth for onlays. The good news is that dental insurance can cover up to 50 percent of the cost of your treatment since inlays and onlays are restorations for treating tooth decay.

Exploring The Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays provide many advantages, including the following:

  1. High resistance to stain – porcelain is not like composite resin. It resists stains a lot better, ensuring you maintain a white, bright smile for a long time.
  2. Durability – porcelain is a sturdy material that does not wear down or break easily. With proper care, your inlays or onlays will last many years, usually up to 30 years.
  3. Sturdiness – inlays, and onlays are strong enough to withstand regular use. It is a necessary trait since inlays and onlays are more suitable for back teeth than front teeth restorations.
  4. Preserves more natural tooth – compared to the process of getting dental crowns. Dental crowns dictate removing a lot of your tooth enamel to make room for restoration. Since inlays and onlays cover a significantly smaller surface than dental crowns, they preserve your natural tooth structure.