Compared to fillings and crowns, inlays and onlays offer a mid-level restorative solution to teeth that need more extensive repair, yet are still structurally capable of withstanding most biting forces.
A Minimally Invasive Alternative to Crowns
Where a crown covers your entire tooth surface above the gumline, inlays and onlays only cover or fill 2/3 to 3/4 of the tooth structure. Essentially, they are a lab-made filling that is designed outside of the mouth and then placed onto the prepared tooth in a way that rebuilds the foundation of the natural crown. For this reason, they are often referred to as “three-quarter crowns.”
What Makes Inlays/Onlays Different from Fillings?
A filling is a restoration that patches into or bonds onto your tooth. Ideally, they are only used for mild to moderate areas of tooth decay. If the area is too large, the filling will succumb to regular biting and chewing, causing the tooth to break apart even further.
Being that inlays/onlays are made in a lab from high quality materials, they are capable of being larger than a filling and “rebuilding” the structure of the tooth. This makes it possible for you to continue using your tooth normally from day to day.
Choosing the Best Restorative Option for Your Tooth
At OF Dental Care, Dr. Omid Farahmand will carefully assess your tooth to determine whether a filling, inlay, onlay, or crown is most appropriate. Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, so that it blends right in with your smile.