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Normally, if you have a cavity, a traditional dental filling or restoration will be performed; however, if you have an extensive fracture or severely decayed tooth, you may not qualify for one. A normal restoration could compromise the structural integrity of the damaged tooth. Read today’s blog to learn when the dentist may recommend an inlay or onlay.

What is an Inlay?

A dental inlay is referred to as an indirect restoration or filling that consists of a strong, sold substance, such as porcelain or gold, fitted to a tooth cavity and then cemented in place. At the office of Westwood Dental we might also use a cured composite resin. The technique includes designing the restoration outside of your mouth, after our dental assistant obtains a dental impression of the tooth. This restoration substitutes a traditional soft filling that is placed inside a tooth and then hardened.

What is an Onlay?

Like an inlay, an onlay fabricates a replacement for the tooth cusp that is then covered or onlayed over a tooth, where the missing cusp would be stationed. The same type of solid substance is used, as well, and has the same benefits as an inlay. Onlays are usually used when the cusp of a tooth is fractured, or the tooth structure left remaining is compromised, which undermines the perimeter walls of the damaged tooth or decayed tooth.

Inlays and onlays are custom-made in a dental laboratory, with the dentist giving you a temporary, while the final restoration is customized to fit your tooth. A follow-up visit is then scheduled to fit the final prosthesis. To learn more about inlays and onlays in Kansas City, Kansas, don’t hesitate to contact us at 913-432-0765 for an appointment with Dr. Galvin or Dr. Thomas.