An Inlay/Onlay is a dental restoration procedure which can be compared to a dental filling – any cavity found in a tooth is filled with a hard material and cemented in place. As with regular dental fillings, an inlay and only can be produced from different materials, including composite resin, gold, or porcelain. All materials have several pros and cons which must be kept in perspective when choosing the type of inlay and onlay you wish to get:
Advantages of Gold Inlay/Onlay:
Gold inlays or Onlays are some of the strongest types of indirect dental restoration materials available. These will not break or fracture, even with many years of usage and sustained pressure since their strength is comparable to the patient’s natural tooth. This means that as time goes by and the patient’s tooth gradually wears down, so will the restoration. Gold inlays / onlays can last up to 30 years if properly cared for. Other materials do not offer such long results.
Disadvantages of Gold Inlay/Onlay:
As you might expect, gold inlays/onlays can be quite expensive, especially compared to other materials such as composite resin. They are also unable to match the patient’s tooth colour which means that they cannot be used for visible teeth such as the front teeth.
Advantages of Porcelain inlay/onlay
Porcelain inlays/onlays are very durable and can be compared to gold inlays/onlays but with a difference – they can be made to look like the patient’s natural tooth colour. Porcelain is also naturally reflective, meaning that it will mimic natural teeth in terms of translucency as well. With these advantages, porcelain inlays/onlays can be applied for visible teeth such as the front teeth without worries of aesthetics.
Disadvantages of Porcelain inlay/onlay
Porcelain is one of the most expensive materials in the dentistry field, and in some cases gold could be the more affordable option. Manufacturing these inlays/onlays requires a highly skilled technician and placing them requires a highly trained specialist, adding up to the total cost of a treatment.
Advantages of Composite Resin inlay/onlay
Composite resin also looks like the patient’s natural teeth in terms of colour and translucency. This material is also somewhat cheaper compared to other options, and since the composite resin inlay/onlay does not require manufacturing, the total cost of the treatment is lower.
Disadvantages of Composite Resin inlay/onlay
They are certainly not as durable as their porcelain or gold counterparts. Composite resin as a material for dental restoration can get stained quite easily, often requiring replacement.