When a tooth is damaged or decayed, it is important to repair the tooth in order to maintain the function and health of your entire smile. If the tooth is not damaged seriously enough to require a dental crown, our dentist may recommend a dental onlay or inlay in Pocatello, Idaho. Inlays and onlays, also called partial crowns, are similar to fillings in that they only replace the decayed portion of the tooth, whereas a crown covers the entire tooth. Unlike dental fillings, however, inlays and onlays are constructed outside of the mouth by using molds and impressions of your teeth. Once the inlay or onlay is ready, it is cemented in place to restore the tooth’s structure and health. Dental inlays and onlays can be created from a number of materials, such as gold or porcelain. Porcelain inlays and onlays are popular among patients who are interested in natural-looking restorations.
Inlays and onlays serve the same purpose in restoring a damaged tooth, but they are slightly different. A dental inlay is used when the damage or decay is entirely contained within the cusps, or the raised portion of the tooth surface. An onlay is used, on the other hand, to replace one or more of the cusps as well. If you think a dental inlay or onlay is right for your smile, we welcome you to contact Dr. Jake R. Richards by calling us at Oak Mountain Dental today.