What’s The Difference Between An Inlay And An Onlay?

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If you have tooth sensitivity or pain when you chew with your back teeth, the surfaces may be damaged. One corrective measure is the use of an inlay or onlay made of metal, composite resin, or porcelain, from the dentist at Durham Dental Group.

Inlays are very strong, and shaped to fit a hole in a damaged tooth. The choice of an inlay or onlay depends on how much decay and tooth loss has occurred.

An inlay resembles a filling and fills a small part of the tooth, while an onlay covers one or more of the cusps on the top of the tooth. In other words, an inlay fills a hole without changing the shape of the tooth, while an onlay builds up the tooth surface to restore its initial dimension.

The procedure begins with a extensive evaluation, oral x-ray, and an impression. The damaged area will be removed and then the inlay or onlay will be formed to accurately fit your tooth and bite. While it is being made, your tooth will have a temporary restoration piece to cover and safeguard the vulnerable area.

Finally, the inlay or onlay will be placed and permanently bonded to the tooth. Since the procedure requires removal of damaged tooth material, restoration fabrication at the lab, and the placement on the tooth, it will take a few appointments to carry out the process.

Inlays and onlays guard the tooth from further damage, provide natural function, and are durable and inconspicuous.

At Durham Dental Group in Durham NC, we offer general and cosmetic dentistry, and pediatric dentistry for our youngest patients. Schedule an appointment with us today.

Contact Durham Dental Group:


Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):

202 W NC Highway 54 Ste 201
Durham, North Carolina


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