Dental Fillings vs. Inlays and Onlays

Dental Fillings vs. Inlays and Onlays

Jan 01, 2023

Over the recent past, we have been graced with mind-blowing and life-altering technological advancements in all sectors, including dentistry. Our lives have been made infinitely easier. In the same breath, no longer can you worry about cracked, chipped, or decayed teeth when there are several dental treatments, such as inlays and onlays in St. Cloud, MN.

For most patients, inlays and onlays may seem unnecessary since they aren’t that common compared to dental fillings. However, you will find out soon enough that inlays and onlays play a different role compared to fillings. Keep on reading to find out the main difference between these treatments.

It’s All About Repairing the Tooth

Dental fillings, inlays, and onlays near you are all dental restorations that our dentists use to restore your teeth to their former state. Mostly, these restorations are used when the structural integrity of your teeth has been affected by cavities.

However, to get the proper solution, our dentist will consider the following:

  • Size of the cavity being removed
  • The area of the tooth that each restoration covers
  • Required procedure time
  • Dental material used

You might need a dental filling, inlays, or onlays if you develop a toothache, tooth sensitivity, and a hole within your tooth.

What Is a Dental Filling?

You must have received dental fillings if you have been around long enough. Dental fillings are by far the most common restorative treatment. It is the go-to option for a dental cavity spread within your tooth.

Our dentist will remove the affected area and fill it with a sturdy material known as a dental filling. They are using a dental filling to repair a tooth restoring its functionality and strengthening.

You have the option of choosing the material you wish to use. If you desire something sturdy and don’t mind poor aesthetics, then amalgam fillings can work well. However, if you wish to get an option that has excellent aesthetics and still restores the tooth, then composite fillings will work.

The most important thing to remember about fillings is that they are the best option when the area of the tooth that needs to be repaired is small.

What Is an Inlay?

Inlays are not as common as dental fillings, but they are less important. Dental fillings are the best solution when covering a small area; however, if the portion that needs to be repaired is bigger, usually between the bumps on your teeth (cusps).

For this reason, our dentist near you will remove the decayed section of the tooth and shape it to ensure that the inlay fits perfectly within the cusp.

What Is an Onlay?

Onlays, at times, are referred to as partial crowns since they cover one or more tooth cusps. They are the perfect option if you have a larger area of the tooth that needs to be repaired. For instance, if the middle section and side of your tooth show signs of decay, you may need to go for an onlay.

Onlays cover more area than fillings and inlays but less area than dental crowns. A crown will cover the entire tooth because it is designed to repair a severely damaged tooth. That’s why you go for crowns only when the tooth is severely damaged.

Onlays are made from pressed porcelain, composite resin, or gold. You pick the material based on your preferences, cost, aesthetics, and durability.

Fillings vs. Inlays and Onlays

One thing you must have picked on thus far is that fillings, inlays, and onlays play the same role but in different capacities. They are all designed to restore a tooth’s functionality.

An onlay is used to cover a bump, and that’s why they are referred to as partial crowns. Inlays are used to cover larger holes between the cusps, and it is best to use materials such as porcelain since they don’t shrink.

Another thing about getting inlays and onlays is that the procedures require two visits. The first visit is to remove the decayed part and take the tooth impression. The next visit will be to place the onlay and inlay. Once bonded to your teeth, they will last up to 20 years.

Fillings are completed within the first appointment since they are designed to resolve a minor issue. But in some cases, our dentist may need to take impressions that will help customize dental fillings. Once the filling is in place, it might serve you for about five years; you might need to replace it.

We Are Here For You

You can contact us if you need a filling, inlay, or onlay. Contact us at Smile City, and we will take care of your teeth!

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