What to Know About Inlays and Onlays

Has your dentist recommended an inlay or an onlay to repair a cavity? Courtney R. Villari, D.D.S. of Ovation Dental in River Forest wants you to know what they are and why you may need to have an inlay or an onlay.

What are Inlays and Onlays?

A dental inlay is similar to a traditional filling. It fits inside the top of the tooth. A dental onlay is larger than an inlay and goes over the top inlaysof the tooth. Both inlays and onlays can be made from a variety of materials, including gold, ceramic, amalgam, and porcelain. They are kind of the step between a filling and a dental crown. They can be referred to as a "partial crown."

Why would I need an Inlay or an Onlay?

There are several reasons why your dentist may recommend an inlay or an onlay.

  • You have a moderate to severe deep or large cavity.
  • You have a cavity that extends into a flossing area.
  • You have a cavity between two teeth.
  • It is needed to save the function of the tooth and will leave more healthy tooth behind.
  • The tooth is too damaged for a filling, but not enough that it would require a crown.
  • It can help you maintain your normal chewing.
  • They are stronger and more durable than a filling, lasting longer.

What will happen?

An inlay or an onlay is usually completed in two office visits. You and your dentist will discuss which option is best for your needs. You will also discuss what material will be used to make the inlay or onlay. On the first visit, you will be fitted with a temporary inlay or onlay. On the second visit, you will be given the permanent inlay or onlay.
Rest assured your dentist will recommend an inlay or an onlay when that is the best treatment option for you. In River Forest, Dr. Villari will provide you with the best possible experience. Call Ovation Dental today at (708) 689-0419 to make an appointment.

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