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What are Inlays and Onlays?

What is an inlay? What is an onlay? How are inlay or onlays different from a dental filling?

Most patients will experience tooth decay at some point during their lifetime. Tooth decay is the most common dental health concern that affects children, teens, adults, and seniors. Tooth decay is progressive and worsens over time when left untreated. Routine dental health exams with our Manassas Smile’s team and good at home oral hygiene practices are the best ways to prevent and control tooth decay. But even the most diligent brushers and thorough flossers may still develop a cavity.

Catching tooth carries early on in development can allow for more conservative treatment options like a dental filling. When decay affects a difficult to reach area like a deep crevice in the crown of a molar, or if it covers a large surface area a more advanced treatment may be necessary to secure the tooth structure and seal out future decay. Inlay and onlays are commonly used to treat deep or large areas of decay. Inlay and onlays provided added support, sealing out future decay.
dental exam inlay and onlay for tooth decay manassas smiles

Inlays: Treating Large Areas of Decay

Left untreated decay spreads and can damage large areas of the tooth. Patients who have large surface areas damaged by tooth decay, a tooth-colored inlay could be the solution. The inlay is custom designed to blend seamlessly with the natural tooth. Your inlay will look and feel like your real teeth. The infected tissue is removed and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. Then, a mold is taken of the area and an inlay is fabricated to fit securely on the tooth. The inlay is permanently bonded in place for lasting results.

Onlays: For Correcting Crown Decay

The tops of your molars are filled with deep grooves and crevices. These areas are prime spots for bacteria to breed and overtime cause tooth decay. S For patients who develop decay in the crown of the tooth, an onlay, often known as a partial crown, can help to prevent further damage to the tooth. Dental onlays help to support the stability of the natural tooth preventing the need for a tooth extraction.

Preventing Tooth Decay

Sealants are a non-invasive way to help prevent decay. Sealants are an effective preventative measure safe for children and adult patients. Ask Dr. Hassan if sealants could help seal out decay in your smile at your next routine dental health exam. Remember- your oral health is essential to living a healthy life! Contact our Manassas, VA family dentist office to learn more about our comprehensive and personal approach to creating beautiful smiles.

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