These 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.
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. 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.
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.
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) 219-7604 to schedule an appointment today.