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Dental overlays and inlays explained
Updated: 8/7/2008 12:00:35 PM
 

There are a wide variety of corrective treatments people can have nowadays to repair teeth that have been damaged by an accident or tooth decay.

Amalgam fillings have been the most popular option for over 150 years now, Best Syndication reports, which are made from a combination of metals including silver, tin, copper and mercury.

Although these are durable, they can be unsightly. One other option dentists are sometimes using instead are inlays and overlays, which work in a similar way to dental crowns but are a more conservative and simple procedure.

Unlike fillings, inlays and overlays are created in a lab and bonded over the tooth and are made of dental porcelain, so they look natural.

The difference between the two types of procedures is their size - if they extend over one or more cusps, they are onlays, if they do not they are classed as inlays. Each serves a slightly different purpose, with inlays being used to cover small holes and onlays used to treat more serious tooth decay.

According to the news provider, some dentists are now able to create and fit inlays and onlays in one day, but it typically takes two sessions to complete the treatment.
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