When it comes to tooth decay, cavities, and root canals, the ways that you can repair the damage are almost limitless. If the decay and subsequent damage to your tooth were significant, then a simple filling may not be sufficient. However, just because you have a root canal or a serious cavity, that doesn’t automatically mean that you will need a full dental crown, which covers the entire tooth.

There are alternative restorative and protective treatments to dental crowns which are referred to as dental inlays and onlays.

The Difference Between Inlays and Onlays

Both inlays and onlays are a way to restore the structure of a tooth that has been decayed or damaged in some way. Both are manufactured to your teeth to fit inside a hole left behind by decay.

So, what is the difference?

The main difference between the two is that the inlay is used for damage that is typically less severe than when an onlay is used. The inlay fills the hole left behind by the decay to restore the integrity of a damaged tooth, and it fills up to the cusps, or ridges, of your tooth, but does not go over them.

However, an onlay is made to fit on top of the cusps and over them. So an onlay is used when the damage is more severe and more help is needed to restore the tooth, but perhaps a complete dental crown is not necessary. This way more of your tooth can continue being used without completely covering it.

If you have any more questions about dental inlays and onlays, then we invite you to give us a call or stop by our office today!

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