Also known as partial dental crowns, porcelain onlays and inlays are a little-known compromise between a filling and a dental crown. They are used to restore larger cavities, or to repair a tooth that has been damaged to the extent that a filling isn't enough, but not so severe that a crown is necessary.
What are Dental Inlays and Onlays?
Dental inlays and onlays are made of the same durable materials as crowns, but they are smaller than a full crown, though larger than a normal filling.
- Inlays are small, covering only the center of the tooth's surface.
- Dental onlays cover at least one of the damaged tooth's cusps.
- Full crowns cover all cusps and most of the tooth's surface.
Dr. Krothapalli use dental inlays and onlays in cases where a filling would not sufficiently strengthen the tooth's surface. Onlays are much more durable than fillings and can last as long as 30 years with proper care.
How Onlays are Used to Restore Larger Cavities
There are two types of dental onlays, direct and indirect, and each is applied differently.
Indirect onlays require two appointments. First, Dr. Krothapalli will remove any decay from your damaged tooth. Next, we’ll take a mold of the tooth and prepare a temporary dental filling. At your second visit, we’ll remove the temporary filling and replace it with a specially prepared porcelain onlay, which is cemented on permanently.
Direct onlays are prepared while you wait and are installed much like a filling. These are usually made of composite resin, which is not quite as durable as the indirect porcelain onlays.
Benefits of Onlays
- Protection: Dental onlays are used in place of a filling, to restore large cavities and protect the integrity of the tooth. They safeguard the tooth from further decay, cracks, and damage.
- Durability: Onlays are designed for optimal resilience, and can last as long as 30 years.
- Safe Middle Ground: If a tooth is damaged enough to require more than a filling, but not so badly that it needs a full crown, a dental onlay is the perfect compromise to repair and protect your tooth.
For more information about dental inlays and onlays, or to book an appointment to discuss your needs, contact Krothapalli Family Dental today.