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What Are Inlays And Onlays?

Posted on 12/15/2023 by Weo Admin
Close up of a beautiful smileNearly 90% of adults have at least one cavity, and cavities occur most often in your back teeth, which are called molars. If you have a large cavity in one of your molars, fixing the cavity through a filling might not fix your problem. Here is some additional information about inlays and onlays and how they help keep your molars strong.

Why Are Molars a Problem?

Molars are the largest teeth you have. You use the molars for chewing and grinding your food into manageable pieces. Molars are prone to cavities for several reasons. First, a lot of molars are full of deep grooves that work to trap food particles. Molars are also difficult to brush, and because they are hard to brush, cavities form. Also, molars are difficult to floss because they are in the back of your mouth, which makes it difficult for you to maneuver floss to the spaces between your teeth.


When a cavity is located in the center of one of your molars, if it is not fixed immediately, it can grow large quickly. Due to your molars doing a lot of the heavy lifting in chewing your food, an ordinary filling may not work. Inlays are pieces of porcelain that are cemented to the surface of your molars along the biting surface.


If your cavity has moved beyond the grooves of your molar surface, you may need a larger porcelain piece that covers more of the biting surface. These larger porcelain pieces are called onlays. Even if you have a cavity along the cusps or biting surface, an onlay can fix the problem.

What if the cavity is too large for a simple fix on the biting surface of your molars? If the cavity has reached the interior of your tooth, you may need a crown. Instead of covering only the cusp or bite surface, crowns cover the entire tooth to protect it. No matter which type of restorative dentistry you need, your molar will be strong enough to keep you biting for a lifetime.

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