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If you need restorative work done on a tooth, there are many possible treatment solutions. For minor repairs, a traditional filling might be appropriate. If damage is extensive, a full crown may be needed. And for the middle ground, getting an inlay or an onlay just might be the best option.

A dental inlay or onlay is a restoration that repairs damage that is too large for a normal filling, but not large enough to necessitate a full crown. They are sometimes called indirect fillings or partial crowns. They restore the full use of the affected tooth.

The main difference between inlays and onlays is the area they cover. Inlays seamlessly fill cavities within the cusps (or bumps) of a tooth’s chewing surface. It is similar to a piece of inlayed wood furniture. An onlay covers more area and includes at least one cusp.

You will need to anticipate multiple visits to complete the full process. Unlike normal fillings, inlays and onlays need to be custom manufactured for each patient at a dental lab. But one of the main advantages of inlays and onlays is they are really built to last–decades, in fact. And while all fillings weaken the structure of the affected tooth, inlays and onlays do so much less than traditional fillings.

If you are in need of restorative work to bring your smile back to full strength, you have many options. Talk with Dr. Austin Baker to see if inlays or onlays are the best option for you. Call Grand Trails Dental at our Spring, TX, office today.