Tooth-colored fillings work great for minor cavities, but if you have more extensive damage, we might want a stronger solution. Inlays and onlays are restorative dental treatments are also known as “indirect fillings” because they are made outside of the mouth. These custom-made fillings can be used to restore a tooth with moderate damage or decay. They are typically used when the damage is too extensive for a traditional filling but not enough to warrant a full dental crown.

If you are looking for a durable filling option in Kuna, please call (208) 922-1755 today for an appointment with a dentist at Deluxe Dental. We’ll evaluate your cavities and see if inlays and onlays are right for you.

Benefits of Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are more advanced tooth-colored filling options. Instead of being made of composite resin, they are made of advanced ceramics, which are very durable. Inlays and onlays:

  • Look more like natural tooth material
  • Are more stain-resistant than resins
  • Resist wear
  • Protect you from pressure sensitivity

Dental inlays and onlays provide a more attractive appearance that looks more like your natural teeth. That’s because the ceramic has the same luster as natural tooth enamel. While composite fillings can get a luster when polished, they often lose their polish.

Resins don’t just lose their polish, they can pick up stains from dark-colored foods and beverages. This can make them discolor faster than your surrounding teeth–and they don’t respond to teeth whitening.

The advanced ceramic also won’t wear down like composite resin, which is softer than your teeth. Composite fillings might make you more vulnerable to pressure sensitivity on the treated teeth, but inlays and onlays are firmer so they protect the tooth pulp from pressure.

What Are Inlays and Onlays

Inlays and onlays are considered a more conservative approach to restoring a tooth than dental crowns. They are called “indirect fillings” because they are fabricated outside of the mouth, whereas traditional fillings are made directly on the tooth. This means they require a second visit to complete, but they pay it back with their other advantages.

Inlays or onlays are typically used when there is a moderate amount of damage or decay to the tooth. The advantage of inlays and onlays is that they will fully restore the function and appearance of your natural tooth, and won’t require significant removal of the structure as a dental crown does.

Which Is Which?

An indirect filling is considered an inlay when it is used to repair damage on the enamel that is isolated to the center of the chewing surface and does not affect a cusp or point on the surface of the tooth. An onlay, on the other hand, is used when the damage extends to or affects one or more of the cusps of the tooth.

Learn More about Inlays and Onlays in Kuna

If your tooth has suffered a moderate amount of damage or decay, and inlay or onlay may be the answer for you. Please give our dental office a call at (208) 922-1755 to schedule an appointment today.