Inlays, Onlays and Dental Fillings: Which Should You Choose? | Dr. Alex Midtown NYC Cosmetic Dentist

Inlays, Onlays and Dental Fillings: Which Should You Choose?

dental fillings

You will at one point need to have a tooth fixed or replaced. It could be because of cavities or tooth decay. Either way, you will have to choose between inlays, dental fillings or onlays. All these are modern dentistry solutions that have been proven to work. They are all durable and aesthetically appealing, so you do not really need to worry about how your choice will affect your smile.  It doesn’t hurt though to know a thing or two about all these options. Read on to learn more.

Dental Inlays

They are more or less like tooth fillings. That is, they can restore a small portion of a tooth. There is a slight different though. With inlays, your dentist will prefer inlays for deeper cavities and extensive decay that tend to develop within tooth cusps.  First off, your dentist will get rid of the diseased or affected part of your tooth. Instead of using a filing, an inlay (which is simply a layer of ceramic customized to fit a specific tooth) is applied. You will notice that unlike the usual dental fillings, a custom lab easily fabricates the inlay.

It is easy to understand how the whole process works. Your dentist first places an inlay just like a dental crown by first cementing it firmly into place. They then smoothens it and polishes it for a clean, seamless finish. This procedure makes an inlay durable and a perfect solution for restoring teeth.

Onlays Vs. Crowns

Onlays are ideal for teeth that have suffered extensive damage. That’s because they can cover more than one cusp of a tooth. A crown on the other hand is essentially an inlay only that in includes all the four cups of a tooth. In other words, it restores the whole tooth structure.  If the affected tooth does not need the strength of a whole crown, your dentist will most likely recommend an onlay as it is less invasive yet highly durable.

Note that the procedure for completing onlays and inlays is similar to the process of completing a dental crown. This means with onlays and inlays, you will require two separate visits with some time in between to allow the dental lab to handcraft your new restoration. Remember too that inlays and onlays are more expensive compared to dental fillings. The upside though boils down to the fact that onlays and inlays are durable and more importantly, they offer better long-term stability.

Oral Hygiene

Once you have any of the aforementioned dental solutions, there’s really nothing to worry about as long as you observe routine visits to your dentist. Brush your teeth like you normally would without an inlay or a crown. Be sure to use the right amount of pressure when brushing. Be sure to also use soft bristle toothbrush. As for flossing, do it regularly. It does not get complicated on account of having a crown, an inlay or an onlay. Remember to keep your dentist posted anytime you feel pain or discomfort after any dental procedure.