What are Fillings, Inlays, and Onlays?
Having trouble differentiating between fillings, Inlays, and Onlays? It can get a little confusing differentiating between them.
Fillings: When your tooth is treated for a cavity, there is often a space left by the removal. If left open, your teeth may be at risk for infection or a new cavity. Dr. Smith uses a filling to protect your tooth after cavity removal.
Fillings are a form of direct restoration done inside your mouth. The tooth and surrounding area are numbed before the cavity is removed and filled.
Here are some of the common materials used for cavity fillings:
- Silver amalgam
- Tooth-colored plastic
Inlays and Onlays: Inlays and Onlays are a form of indirect restoration. Unlike fillings, inlays and Onlays are made outside of the mouth as a single solid piece that is specifically designed to fit the shape of the cavity.
Inlays and Onlays are used in molars and premolars when your tooth has too much damage to support a crown.
The key difference between inlays and Onlays is how much of the tooth is covered. Inlays will include the pits of the fissure in the tooth. Inlays primarily cover the chewing surface between the cusps. An onlay will cover one or more cusps being covered.
These are the materials often used for inlays and Onlays:
- Composite resins
- Metal composites
Porcelain is most often used for inlays and Onlays because its appearance closely resembles that of a natural tooth.
Why should I get an Inlay, Onlay, or Filling?
Cavities are extremely dangerous if left untreated. Cavities may become so large that they can put pressure on or affect the nerves. This may cause significant pain and discomfort for the patient.
Infection resulting from cavities may also lead to a tooth abscess. If severe enough, a root canal procedure may be necessary to prevent the loss of a tooth.
These restoration processes are vital to protecting your teeth from further harm after Dr. Smith has removed your cavity. You should never avoid getting a cavity removed — doing so will only make the problem worse the longer it’s avoided.
Restore and Protect Your Smile
If you’re showing symptoms of a cavity or infection, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Smith. Our medical team will ensure that you get the absolute best care and coverage possible. Visit our office in Kingston, PA or call us at (570)-714-3883.