When Are Dental Inlays & Onlays Recommended – How To Care?

When Are Dental Inlays & Onlays Recommended – How To Care?

Mar 01, 2024

Keeping your smile bright and in good health extends beyond the basics of brushing and flossing daily. As we navigate through life, our teeth may encounter various challenges, leading to decay, fractures, or the need for cosmetic enhancement. In such cases, dental professionals often recommend restorative procedures like dental inlays and onlays. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of these treatments, exploring when they are recommended and how you can ensure optimal care for a lasting and vibrant smile.

Understanding Dental Inlays and Onlays:

Dental inlays and onlays are advanced therapeutic procedures designed to address moderate tooth damage. When a tooth has suffered damage that surpasses what a standard filling can repair but doesn’t warrant a full dental crown, inlays and onlays come into play.

Inlays are precision-crafted fillings that snugly fit into the center of a tooth’s surface. Inlays are commonly used when the damage is not extensive, and the tooth’s cusps remain intact.

Onlays: Onlays, conversely, cover a more significant portion of the tooth’s surface, extending to one or more cusps. They are recommended for situations where the damage reaches the outer edges of the tooth.

When Are Dental Inlays and Onlays Recommended?

Moderate Tooth Decay:

Dental decay is a common issue, and when it progresses beyond the point where a traditional filling is sufficient but doesn’t necessitate an entire crown, inlays and onlays become an ideal solution. These restorations effectively halt the decay and restore the tooth’s structural integrity.

Fractured Teeth:

Teeth can suffer fractures due to various reasons, including accidents or excessive wear. In such cases, inlays and onlays can restore the tooth’s strength and prevent further damage. They provide a balanced approach, addressing fractures without needing a complete crown.

Large Fillings:

When a large filling needs replacement, inlays and onlays offer a more durable and long-lasting solution than traditional fillings. They provide additional support to the tooth structure, minimizing the risk of further damage.

Cosmetic Purposes:

Occasionally, dental professionals may recommend inlays and onlays for cosmetic reasons. These restorations can enhance the appearance of a tooth with significant discoloration, irregularities, or other aesthetic concerns.

Caring for Dental Inlays and Onlays:

Maintain Good Oral Hygiene:

Dental inlays and onlays, much like your own teeth, demand a routine of careful hygiene. Employ a toothpaste with fluoride and a brush with soft bristles for gentle cleansing of the areas that have received treatment. To thwart the accumulation of plaque and to keep your mouth healthy, it’s imperative to brush and floss with regularity.

Regular Dental Check-ups:

Scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist in Pflugerville, TX, is crucial. This will allow the dentist to monitor the condition of your inlays and onlays and address any issues early on. Early intervention can prevent potential complications and ensure the longevity of the restorations.

Avoid Chewing Hard Objects:

While inlays and onlays are durable, avoiding chewing on complex objects is essential to prevent potential damage. Refrain from activities such as chewing ice, pens, or hard candies that could compromise the integrity of the restorations.

Watch Your Diet:

Be mindful of your diet, especially if you’ve received onlays or inlays for cosmetic reasons. To ensure the visual integrity of your dental restorations remains intact, it’s wise to moderate your intake of substances known to discolor, such as coffee, tea, and red wine.

Wear a Mouthguard:

Individuals engaged in athletic activities or who experience nocturnal teeth clenching or grinding are strongly encouraged to consider the protective benefits of wearing a mouthguard. A mouthguard provides additional protection, safeguarding your dental inlays and onlays from potential damage during physical activities or teeth grinding.


Dental inlays and onlays represent an essential aspect of restorative dentistry, offering practical solutions for various dental issues. Whether you’re dealing with moderate decay or fractures or seeking cosmetic enhancement, these treatments provide a reliable and balanced approach. Ensuring the effectiveness and longevity of your dental inlays and onlays involves incorporating good oral hygiene practices into your daily routine. Regular check-ups with our dentist near you at The Grand Family Dental will further contribute to maintaining a healthy and vibrant smile for years. Prioritize your oral health, and let your restored teeth shine brightly.

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