A dental restoration is called a dental inlay when the material is bonded within the center of a tooth. Conversely, it is called an dental onlay when the extent of the dental damage requires inclusion of one or more cusps (points) of the tooth, or full coverage of the biting surface.
Dental Inlays can often be used instead of traditional dental fillings to treat tooth decay or similar structural damage. While dental fillings are molded into place within the mouth during a visit with your dentist, dental inlays are fabricated in a dental lab; your dentist then fits and bonds it to the damaged tooth.
There are quite a few advantages to inlay restorations:
- Superior fit: dental inlays preserve as much healthy tooth as possible. They are a good choice if you have minimal to moderate tooth decay that extends into a flossing area; they offer an excellent alternative to full coverage crowns.
- Tooth color: Inlays are not likely to discolor over time, as tooth-colored resin fillings sometimes do
- Helping to ensure functional longevity, inlays preserve the greatest amount of healthy tooth structure while restoring decayed or damaged areas.
- Easy tooth cleaning: Your tooth can be easier to clean than it would be with full coverage restoratives like dental crowns, because the fit is tailored at all edges and the preparation is minimal. During the curing process, composite fillings can shrink; prefabricated porcelain or gold inlays will not, thus ensuring a perfect fit.
- Tight space fulfillments: Inlays are better at sealing teeth to keep out bacteria, and they are easy to clean, will not stain, and offer exceptional longevity.
- Strength and stability: Inlays are extremely stable solutions for the treatment of decay. Their superior fit and durable material make inlays a great choice that can actually strengthen a damaged tooth.