The Dental Restoration That’s Not Too Big and Not Too Small. It’s Just Right.

When our dentists catch the early stages of tooth decay or damage, odds are they are going to recommend a dental filling to restore your tooth’s health. If your tooth has suffered more severe damage, you will probably need a dental crown or entire replacement tooth. But what about those instances for when your tooth has more damage than a filling can fix but not enough to require a crown? For those cases, we’ve got dental inlays and onlays.

Dental inlays and onlays are used to help restore teeth that have developed a moderate amount of tooth decay or damage. They can be made a variety of materials, including gold, porcelain or composite (tooth-colored) resin. When you visit Irvine Spectrum Dental, Drs. Yuen, Tong or Yu will evaluate your condition and talk with you to determine why type of inlay or onlay is best for you.

diagram of the differences between dental inlays and onlaysWhile inlays and onlays are similar, there is a difference. Inlays are used when the decay or damage does not reach the cusps of the tooth. The cusps are the rounded, slightly elevated edges of the biting surface. Your canines have a single cusp, your premolars have two cusps and your molars have either four or five cusps. An onlay, on the other hand, is used when the decay reaches one or more of the tooth’s cusps.

Just like Baby Bear’s porridge, chair and bed were just right for Goldilocks, dental inlays and onlays are just right for those instances where a filling or crown aren’t the right fit for restoring your oral health. To learn more about our dental inlays and onlays in Irvine, California, feel free to give us a call today at 949-387-6418!