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3 Things You Should Know about Inlays and Onlays

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The appearance of your teeth, gums and bite are essential to your smile. That's why cosmetic dentistry is important because it seeks to correct the dental defects that affect the appearance of your mouth, teeth, as well as smile. Damaged or decayed teeth are some of the dental problems that would make you consider cosmetic dentistry. Crowns and fillings are the common options available for decayed teeth. However, there's another option you may want to think of too: inlays and onlays. Here is all you need to know about this type of cosmetic dentistry procedure.

1. What Are Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays work to restore damaged or decayed teeth, often referred to as cavities, by sitting over or into the missing part of your tooth. This is unlike dental fillings that involve filling the damaged tooth with a material. It's also unlike crowns that cover all visible part of your damaged tooth. That is, inlays and onlays cover only the damaged part of the tooth. While inlays and onlays perform the same function, they work on different parts of your damaged tooth.

Inlays will fit within the cusps or rounded edges of your tooth. Onlays, on the other hand, are the larger of the two and will cover not only the damaged part of the tooth, but also more of the tooth's cusps. That means onlays cover more of the surface of the tooth.

2. When Are Inlays and Onlays Recommended?

Your dentist will often recommend the ideal cosmetic dentistry procedure depending on the type and severity of your dental problem. However, if your dental cavity is too deep for a filling to work but not severe enough to consider dental crowns, inlays and onlays would be the ideal procedure.

3. What Are the Advantages of Dental Inlays and Onlays?

Inlays and onlays come with a range of benefits over dental crowns as well as fillings. First, inlay and onlay treatment preserve most of the natural structure of the tooth. Preserving the structure of the tooth enhances its functional longevity. Inlays and onlays are also highly durable compared to crowns and fillings. They are made from stronger materials and will last longer, providing additional support as well as strength to your damaged teeth for years. Since they are custom fit for you before being placed, inlays and onlays tend to provide a better fit than dental fillings. When it comes to hygiene, inlays and onlays are easier to clean because they are more resistant to discolouration and stains. 

For more information, contact your local general dentistry office.