Dental onlays and Inlays are more of a modern way which dentists use to deal with decaying teeth and other dental associated problems where necessary. Below is a breakdown on the difference between the onlays and inlays.
What is an Inlay?
An inlay is made to fit over the chewing surface of a decayed or damaged tooth. It is molded using an impression of the affected area taken from a lab. Although an inlay will fit perfectly into the tooth’s hollow, it does not affect the cusps.
During the process, the dentist makes the impression to match the tooth’s color. It ensures that the tooth will not be noticeable when placed in the mouth. The material used for the treatment is either composite or porcelain. Compared to traditional fillings, this material is more durable and stronger.
What is an Onlay?
Onlays are used to treat damage and decay to a tooth’s cusps and chewing surface. They can also get used to filling a tooth gap that is too big or due to weakness. An onlay will strengthen the tooth and prevent it from cracking.
Onlays can also include the cusps and the space between teeth. The dentist will prepare the tooth using a technique similar to a filling during the process. After cleaning and drilling the cavity, a temporary onlay is placed over it. The impression is then sent to a manufacturer for a permanent onlay.
The onlay is then placed in the mouth using the impression taken during the process. Unlike a crown, an onlay does not require the removal of the cusps or filing. This type of tooth restoration is called partial crowns because it covers only a portion of the tooth.
Difference in Durability
One of the most important factors a patient must consider when it comes to maintaining their oral hygiene after an inlay and onlay has been placed in their adherence to the dentist’s recommendations. Aside from regular brushing and flossing, a patient must also visit the dentist regularly to check the health and stability of the new filling.
Aside from regular dental hygiene, a patient should also consider the factors that can affect the longevity of their onlays and other dental restorations. One of the most common factors affecting the durability of an onlay and an inlay is tooth-grinding. It can cause the tooth to crack and wear out. Another common cause of this issue is hard or chewy food. It can cause the bonds between the materials to loosen.
Difference in Cost
Although an onlay or an inlay can cost more than a composite filling, the exact amount a patient will pay depends on various factors. For instance, the quality of the materials used in the process and the dentist’s experience are some factors that can affect the restoration cost. Onlays and inlays are typically around the same amount, but onlays can be more expensive if the patient has a more extensive restoration.
When choosing a material for tooth restoration, porcelain is considered the most expensive because it looks like natural tooth enamel. On the other hand, gold is more affordable and can be noticeable. Composite resin, on the other hand, can stain and get gradually discolored over time.
The costs can increase significantly if the damage is severe and spread widely. On the other hand, if the damage is confined to a small area, an inlay or an onlay can be more cost-effective. Although some people may not require sedation for an onlay or an inlay, a patient may still be charged for this service if they are squeamish.