When decay destroys part of the tooht, dental inlay is a conservative technique for your comfort, safety and at a lower price than dental crowns. your tooth, you should go to your dentist to remove the decay and do the dental restoration that corresponds to you, most likely a dental onlay is your solution.
But, at this point it is very important to decide correctly the technique to use to prevent the restoration from failing and causing cavities under it again.
Here we present the dental inlays, onlay or overlays
A Conservative Dental Approach
The reason for this approach is that there is nothing like a natural tooth and as such it must be preserved at all costs.
This way of doing dentistry is based on keeping the part of the tooth that the caries could not affect as intact as possible.
Tip: In the case of restorations, the conservative thing goes from a minimal use of the drill to a restoration that respects the tooth and lengthens your life.
Dental Onlay – Inlay
A dental onlay inlay is a conservative dental restoration made to measure for you and in the dental laboratory. It is used in posterior teeth, molars and premolars.
Tip: This characteristic exactly gives reason to the onlay / inlay name because its shape is such that it fits perfectly on your tooth.
This fitting minimizes the risk of crevices where bacteria can creep and form cavities underneath..
Dental Onlay Use Cases
The technology of dental materials and adhesives has evolved so much that today dental onlays are the first option in large restorations.
In general, they are indicated in the following cases:
- Large restorations of molars or premolars that still have healthy walls.
- Restorations in areas of difficult access (near the gum or on surfaces adjacent to another tooth (interproximal), where to place shims , which are made manually directly in your mouth, means a high risk of poor sealing and leaks.
- They are the de facto restoration option after root canal treatments because the coronal seal is exceptional, protecting much more your endodontics, avoiding dental fractures and retreatments.
- When there is massive wear on the molars due to bruxism, in these cases they are called tabletops
Types: Inlay, Onlay, Overlay
The types can be: inlay, onlay, overlay or tabletops
They are called Inlay when the restored part is inside the tooth and they are almost in disuse since it can be done directly in the mouth as a dental filling .
Onlay refers to an inlay that covers the entire upper face of the tooth
The overlay covers beyond the upper face of the tooth, up to the outer faces.
Tabletops are onlay restorations, they are also known as occlusal veneers and are normally used in cases of wear of a large number of occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth.
These wear and tear are normally caused by bruxism which is clenching your teeth mainly at night while you sleep. These excessive forces erode the occlusal surfaces and incisal edges of the teeth, both to the point of destroying them and killing the nerve.
Before treatment, it is necessary to carry out a diagnostic wax-up to be able to plan the appropriate height that the tabletops should have, as well as their function and aesthetics.
Dental Onlay Versus Dental Crown
The main difference is that the dental crown is a cover in the shape of your tooth that completely covers all that remains of the tooth and the onlay only a part.
In the onlay, the tooth is not carved, but the healthy faces of the tooth to be restored are used to the maximum.
The price of an onlay is less than that of a crown because the manufacture is a little simpler and less material is consumed.
Similarities with Dental Crown.
- Both require a base to install on. This base is a core build-up that serves to strengthen the tooth and protect it from fractures.
- Both the onlay and the crown are custom made in the dental laboratory for the patient. We know this as the indirect technique.
- You need approximately 3 visits to the dentist to prepare them.
New adhesive and material technologies have allowed us to be much more conservative and we can offer more economical and comfortable solutions for large restorations that our patients require.
Like any dental technique, it requires to be applied in cases where it is really convenient to perform it and only your trusted dentist can determine it.