Inlays & Onlays
Have you been told that you need inlays and onlays? When people find out they have cavities, they immediately think they need fillings. It’s an understandable misconception because most cavities are treated using fillings. That’s not the case for all of them though.
At daily DENTAL & bracesbar, we have alternatives to fillings. These are mainly inlays and onlays. Crowns can also be used to treat cavities. Many factors go into choosing which of these to use. The most predominant factor is size.
Fillings or Inlays
We prefer to use fillings for small cavities. These are cavities that were detected at an early stage either during a checkup or after the patient notices mild discomfort. Fillings can be made of metals, composite resin, ceramic, or porcelain. Most cavities are detected at a stage where fillings are enough.
Sadly, a few cavities are diagnosed when they’re a little large. In this scenario, fillings won’t suffice. Inlays are needed to treat larger cavities. Inlays are like fillings, but they extend to the biting surface of the tooth without covering any part of it.
While there’s a difference between fillings and inlays, what happens before them remains the same. The cavity has to be thoroughly cleaned and prepared to receive a filling, inlay, or onlay.
Onlays or Crowns
Onlays are different from crowns. They’re larger than inlays but smaller than crowns. When there’s a large cavity that needs to be filled, we can use an inlay, onlay, or crown. It will come down to the biting surface of the tooth. If none of it needs to be covered, we can use an inlay. Onlays are used if part of the biting surface needs to be covered. If the entire surface has to be covered, then we use crowns.
Patients might need to come for two visits, especially when getting crowns. Unlike fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns usually need to be manufactured based on the size of the cavity and that of your tooth. Fillings can easily be adjusted in the office within a few minutes.