4 Advantages of Inlays & Onlays in Dentistry

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If you're looking to improve your oral health, there are many reasons why you may wish to invest in an inlay or an onlay.

An inlay is essentially a fitted filling that is used to fill in a cavity using a number of different substances. Usually inlays are made from porcelain, and they are made from the increasingly popular composite resin. The process of an inlay differs from a standard filling as, opposed to a standard filling, a soft filling is not placed into the cavity hole before it sets hard, but rather, a dental impression of the prepared tooth is used.

An onlay differs somewhat from an inlay. The procedure is, more or less, the same, but an onlay utilizes a replacement for the tooth cusp where the cusp once was. Now, onto the advantages of inlays and onlays!


The most obvious reason why many people choose to opt for either an inlay or onlay is that they have a very distinct, natural appearance. While other forms of fillings can be somewhat noticeable, inlays and onlays are not particularly easy to detect with the naked eye.

Silver amalgam looks incredibly unnatural as opposed to inlays and onlays, and white filling material, while quite good looking, is prone to staining and yellowing to a much greater extent than inlays and onlays. While the porcelain does not mimic the appearance of the original tooth itself, it does appear quite natural and is neither garish nor easily detectable as "false".


Inlays and onlays are also incredible strong. Crowns can actually serve to damage the integrity of the remaining portion of the original tooth, which is why crowns must be replaced with regular frequency and, in some cases, can be quite damaging to your oral health.

By using an impression of what the original, undamaged tooth probably looked like, inlays and onlays can actually be in the service of improving the strength of your teeth. Inlays and onlays, in a sense, serve to bolster the strength of the tooth and do not damage the integrity of the original tooth in any form.

Wear and Tear

In addition to the value of strength, inlays and onlays handle duress very well. They have a long lifespan and tend to wear out at approximately the same rate as fillings. Even for those who suffer from bruxism tend to enjoy the long life of inlays and onlays. Although they don't last forever, inlays and onlays will provide you with a great set of chompers for years to come.


Poorly made fillings can ultimately be quite damaging to your teeth. This is due to the fact that they can trap plaque in between the artificial area of the tooth and the tooth itself, making cleaning the teeth difficult and, in some cases, nearly impossible. Inlays and onlays do not suffer from this phenomenon, as they are forged from a near replica of your tooth itself. You will not find yourself straining to clean teeth with inlays or onlays attached to them. Rather, brushing and flossing is as simple as it would be had you not received inlays or onlays at all.

These are but a few of the advantages of inlays and onlays. It is recommended that, before taking the plunge and actually receiving inlays and onlays, you take the time to speak with your dentist about the matter. While inlays and onlays may be good for you, you may ultimately decide on crowns or some other form of composite filling. Start getting an idea of your options by contacting clinics like Smile Makers Dental.