Inlays and Onlays in Lakewood, CO

Woman in Chair Ready for dental Cleaning

If you have a cavity in your tooth, it needs to be filled to prevent further damage and decay. Onlays and inlays offer a solution to a cavity when it’s too big for a regular filling but not bad enough to warrant a dental crown.

What Is a Filling?

A filling is the most common solution to a cavity. The decayed portion of the tooth is removed and the gap is filled with either a white composite filling or a metal amalgam. Fillings are used for small cavities and can be placed on any tooth. Having a filling placed can be done in a single visit to your dentist.

What Is an Inlay?

A dental inlay may be suggested if the cavity is too large for a normal filling to be effective. As the name suggests, an inlay is placed inside the tooth to fill the cavity. Inlays are fabricated as a single piece to fit neatly into the cavity once it’s been cleaned out by the dentist. As they need to be custom made to each patients’ tooth, it may take an additional visit to place the inlay and cement it in place. Inlays can be made of gold but most patients prefer porcelain for its inconspicuous look and hard-wearing qualities
Woman smiling in dental chair

What Is an Onlay?

A dental onlay is also fabricated as one piece that is then attached to the tooth. What makes this different to an inlay is that it fits over the top edge, or the cusp of the tooth rather than acting like a plug inside the cusps. Onlays can be effective fixes for cavities in your back teeth. While traditionally made of gold, porcelain is the popular choice for onlays these days due to the natural look and durability of the material.

What Is a Crown?

A dental crown is a cap that covers the whole top of a tooth that has been broken, damaged or badly decayed. It restores the look and function of a tooth without needing to replace it.

The Benefits of Dental Inlays and Onlays

There are several benefits when it comes to choosing dental inlays and onlays:
  • They can replace the need for a dental crown in the case of a large cavity
  • They restore tooth functionality and can improve tooth strength
  • They are long-lasting and reliable
  • They are custom made for each tooth, so they look natural
  • They are easy to maintain with a good brushing and flossing routine

Ask Your Lakewood Dentist About Inlays and Onlays

For more information about inlays and onlays vs. fillings and crowns, ask the experts at Callahan & Klein Dental for the best recommendations to fix your cavity. They will take into account the size of the cavity, the placement in the mouth and your general oral health to decide the best material and solution for you.
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