Dental inlays and onlays provide an excellent alternative to fillings and crowns.

inlays and onlays

Inlays and onlays are pieces of material bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. Similar to a filling, an inlay is used inside the tips of a damaged tooth. An onlay is more significant in reconstruction. It tends to extend over one or more tips of the teeth. Inlays and onlays were traditionally only made of gold. Now dentists make them out of composite resin, porcelain and gold. Porcelain, in particular, has become the more popular choice because of its strength and the ease of matching the color to the rest of your teeth.

If you have a tooth that has more than half of its biting surface damage, you are a good candidate for dental inlays or onlays.

Amalgam and mercury fillings reduce the strength of your tooth and enamel by up to 50%. They also cause staining and show very obviously in the tooth. Because inlays and onlays are bonded to your natural teeth by high strength resins, they increase the strength of the tooth up to 75%. They last anywhere from 10-30 years and they provide a great alternative to crowns in certain cases. Additionally, there are a few more benefits to inlays and onlays:

  • More preservation of your natural teeth.
  • Porcelain inlays match your tooth’s look and feel and will not discolor your teeth.
  • Teeth become stronger when inlays or onlays are applied to them.
  • Porcelain does not expand or contract with hot or cold exposure, therefore the risk of cracking your teeth is eliminated with porcelain inlays. 
  • Durability is increased significantly with porcelain and gold.
  • Inlays and onlays last longer than fillings.
  • They offer permanent and perfect contours to help keep gums healthy.

Inlays and onlays can usually be completed in just a single visit by a qualified dentist. Occasionally two visits may be required. This will all depend on the severity and extent of the dental work. Your dentist will be able to give you a thorough guide of what to expect. Finding a qualified, experienced dentist ensures you get top quality work at a fair price. Your smile is priceless, but you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg to improve it. For more information about inlays and onlays, contact Dr. Alicia Abeyta, DDS or visit her website www.bestalbuquerquedentists.com.