What Are Onlays and Inlays?

istock 1257454837 1 If you are at a certain age, you undoubtedly have some metal dental fillings, and, unfortunately, it is very likely that at some point they will become damaged or fall out. Porcelain onlays and inlays are a great solution to replace these old fillings. They not only help to repair and protect damaged teeth, but they also look very natural.

What are onlays and inlays?

Onlays and inlays aren’t just fillings, which are used to fill in the space in the tooth after damaged tissue is removed. However, they aren’t as extensive a repair as crowns are, which cover the entire tooth.

An inlay is used when a tooth is too damaged for a simple filling to fix. An onlay covers more of the tooth than an inlay, but less than a crown. The main difference between the two is that an inlay is not big enough to extend over the tooth’s cusp.

What are the advantages of porcelain onlays and inlays?

Porcelain restorations look so much like natural teeth that no one will even be able to tell you have them. They are also very durable and tough, which add a layer of protection to teeth. And, they can last for up to 30 years because they are resistant to damage and degradation, unlike metal fillings that can expand and contract in the tooth and eventually fall out.

To get an inlay or onlay, first a mold will be made of your teeth so that the restoration will fit you perfectly. The dentist will also take the natural color of your teeth into account, so the restoration can be matched to it. You may get a temporary restoration while the permanent one is being made. When it is ready, the dentist will use a special cement to hold it in place, which will also add a level of protection to your teeth by forming a seal against bacteria.

Porcelain onlays and inlays are durable and natural looking. If you have lost a filling, don’t hesitate – call the Konig Center for Cosmetic and Comprehensive Dentistry in Houston, Texas, at (713) 668-2289 to make an appointment.

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