What Are Inlays and Onlays?
An inlay or onlay is a type of restoration that helps to repair and replace areas of compromised teeth. You can think of these restorations as a medium between a filling and a full dental crown. They’re ideal for patients who need something larger and more sturdy than a filling, but who won’t necessarily benefit from an entire dental crown. Inlays sit on the inside of the cusps of a tooth, whereas onlays sit on the top of the tooth’s crown.
Why Are Inlays and Onlays Needed?
You may need an inlay or onlay if you have deep decay in one or more of your teeth, or if you have a large filling that needs to be replaced. Onlays can be especially beneficial for areas of a tooth that have cracked, broken, or chipped, but that aren’t large enough to warrant a crown. Both inlays and onlays can last for years, or even decades, with proper care, so they’re a long-term solution to a variety of dental problems.