Inlays, Onlays & Overlays

When you need dental work there may come a time when your tooth damage doesn’t rise to the level of needing a crown, but is also too weak to support a tooth filling. How do you take care of the problem? That’s when inlays, onlays, and overlays may do the job.

What is an
Inlay?

A dental inlay fills the space between the cusps of the tooth at the center of the tooth’s surface. Inlays are meant to fill in small portions of the tooth. They are typically made from gold, porcelain or composite resin and are cemented into the tooth.

What is an
Onlay?

A dental onlay restores cavities without having to use a crown. It is similar to a dental inlay but covers one or two cusps of the tooth. Because it covers more surface than an inlay, it is sometimes referred to as a partial crown. Dental onlays are durable and are known to last longer than traditional fillings. Many last for up to 30 years! They are usually made from gold, composite resin, or porcelain. Your dentist will discuss the options and help you choose the right dental onlay for your mouth.

What is an
Overlay?

The concept of a dental overlay is the same as an onlay and inlay. The difference is that an overlay covers a much larger portion of the biting surface of the tooth. It can cover the inner and outer part of the tooth, thus the name “overlay”.

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