Dental cavities are very common. We see them regularly at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners in Newton, MA. Our dentist has many ways of treating cavities. When determining the best option, many factors are taken into consideration. Perhaps the most important factor is the size of the cavity.
Fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns are the most commonly used ways of treating cavities. The cavity has to be cleaned first, and all the dead and infected tissue needs to be removed before an inlay or onlay is placed.
If you’re looking for dental inlays near you, we have you covered. Many patients may not know the difference between a filling and an inlay.
Dental fillings are used to fill most cavities. That’s because most cavities are small. In larger cavities, however, fillings won’t suffice. Inlays are like fillings but bigger. They don’t just fill the cavity in the tooth; they also extend to its surface. It’s important to note, however, the inlays don’t cover any cusps or parts of the tooth’s biting surface.
We also use onlays to treat dental cavities. Fillings are used in small cavities and inlays in slightly bigger ones. If a cavity is even bigger or the tooth needs some support to its biting surface, an onlay would be the best choice.
Onlays fill a dental cavity and extend to cover part of the tooth’s biting surface, usually one of its cusps. This makes onlays bigger than fillings and inlays. They’re more expensive but are needed in weaker teeth or ones with large cavities.
Crowns are different from onlays. A crown will cover a tooth’s entire biting surface rather than just part of it. There are very small distinctions between fillings, inlays, onlays, and crowns. We try our best to explain the difference to our patients before treating them.