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What is an Onlay vs an Inlay

Posted on 12/23/2021 by Dr. Michael Wockenfus
What is an Onlay vs an InlayFor any patients that might have damaged teeth, our dentist will assess their specific situation and might recommend an inlay or onlay for treatment. Depending on the severity of their case, will depend on which recommendation is made for the best outcomes.

An Onlay which is also considered a filling that most of our patients recognize for minor treatment options is a lesser treatment used with cases that are not sever. Situations where an Onlay might be used will be a cavity filling or a slightly broken tooth.

Where trauma to the teeth is involved, this will usually call for an Inaly. An inlay is a more supportive treatment that helps as a crutch to your current tooth structure. However, an inlay is not meant to be an implant. A patient must have a tooth structure that is able to be utilized to receive an Inlay.

Difference in Materials?

Both an Inlay and Onlay use different types of materials for the different types of treatments that are meant to fix the issue with the patient's mouth. Commonly, an Onlay will use materials such as porcelain or a type of composite material. These materials are invisible to the patient and anyone that is looking at their teeth.

Where an Onlay might use lesser supportive material meant to be more of a filling to last for years, an inlay needs to have a very supportive material that will help to stabilize the structure of the damaged tooth. Materials commonly used for an Inlay consist of gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. With these stronger materials, they allow for more support for the structure of the tooth. One type of inlay actually will cap the entire tooth in order to provide the strongest support available. Inlays do still allow for a material to be blended into your regular teeth with palladium if a patient prefers that the inlay look like their other teeth.

Difference Between Inlay and Onlay?

Both an inlay and onlay provide different functions for different treatment options. Where an onlay is for the less severe cases and provide more of a filling, and inlay is for sever trauma cases that help to support the tooth structure. Depending on the case of the patient, the dentist will recommend one or the other. If you feel like one of these options might be something you need, please call us today for more information.

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Dental Blog • Menasha, WI • Mid Valley Dental, S.C.
Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS created a blog to educate the community. It is your resource for all dentistry questions. Learn and read topics in the blog here!
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