Dental inlays and outlays are restorative dental procedures that help repair damaged or decayed teeth, leaving you with a healthy and beautiful smile. These treatments are an alternative to traditional dental fillings and crowns, offering a more conservative approach to repairing teeth.

In this article, we will discuss what dental inlays and outlays are, their benefits, and what you can expect during the procedure.

What Are Dental Inlays?

Dental inlays are custom-made dental restorations that are used to repair teeth with mild to moderate decay, as well as teeth that have been damaged due to fractures or cracks. Inlays are made from various materials, including porcelain, composite resin, and gold. They are designed to fit perfectly within the grooves and contours of your tooth, providing a strong and durable solution to repair the damaged area.

Dental inlays are typically used when the damage is too extensive for a traditional filling but not severe enough to require a dental crown.

What Are Dental Outlays?

Dental outlays, also known as onlays or partial crowns, are similar to inlays but cover a larger tooth area. They are used when the damage extends beyond the cusp of the tooth, which is the pointed part of the tooth’s surface used for biting and chewing.

Like inlays, outlays are custom-made from various materials and are designed to provide a strong and durable solution for repairing damaged teeth. They offer a conservative approach to dental restorations, preserving more of the natural tooth structure than a full crown.

What Are the Benefits of Inlays and Outlays?

  1. Preservation of Tooth Structure: Inlays and outlays allow for a more conservative approach to dental restorations, preserving the tooth structure better than traditional fillings or crowns.
  2. Durability and Strength: Both inlays and outlays are made from strong materials that can withstand the forces of biting and chewing, providing a long-lasting solution to tooth damage.
  3. Aesthetics: Inlays and outlays can be made from tooth-colored materials, such as porcelain or composite resin, allowing for a seamless, natural-looking restoration.
  4. Easy to Clean: The custom-fit design of inlays and outlays makes them easy to clean, reducing the risk of further decay and damage to your teeth.
  5. Improved Oral Health: By repairing damaged teeth with inlays and outlays, you can prevent further tooth decay and gum disease, resulting in improved overall oral health.

What Can You Expect during a Dental Inlay and Outlay Process?

The dental inlay and outlay process typically involves two appointments. During the first appointment, your dentist will numb the area around the tooth and remove any decay or damage. They will then take an impression of the tooth, which will be used to create a custom inlay or outlay at a dental laboratory.

While you wait for your custom restoration to be made, your dentist may place a temporary filling or crown to protect your tooth. Once your inlay or outlay is ready, you will return for a second appointment to have it placed. Your dentist will ensure the restoration fits perfectly and make any necessary adjustments before cementing it in place.

Final Thoughts

Dental inlays and outlays provide a conservative and effective solution for repairing damaged or decayed teeth. With their durability, aesthetics, and ability to preserve more of the natural tooth structure, they offer numerous benefits over traditional fillings and crowns.

If you believe you could benefit from an inlay or outlay, speak with your dentist at Oro Valley Dental Arts. We will connect you with a professional dentist in Oro Valley who will discuss the processes to help you with your oral health — including teeth inlays and outlays. Book a consultation to get started today!