A damaged tooth is always a cause of concern and it must be cured at the first instance. The amount of damage on the tooth determines whether dental inlay is required or dental onlay or a dental crown.
The main purpose of the dental inlay and dental onlay is to restore the chewing surface of the tooth in scenarios where the tooth is not damaged to the extent that it will need a dental crown as dental crowns are comparatively costlier.
A dental inlay is a type of restoration used on a tooth where the chewing area or the center part of the tooth between the cusps (points) is damaged. The dental inlay is safe and it will not cause any complications.
Tooth filling is another option but it is not durable enough and you might have to take extensive care of your tooth. Having said that, dental inlay also requires care and regular visit to dentist, but is much durable than filling.
In some scenarios, the tooth is damaged to a greater extent and one or two cusps (points) of the tooth are also damaged.

Dental Inlay cannot be used in such scenarios, but another procedure called Dental Onlay is used.
Dental Onlay is a type of restoration used to recover or restore one or more cusps or the entire chewing area of the tooth. It is a similar procedure as dental inlay, but because of the area it covers, it is called dental onlay or sometimes also as partial crowns. Traditional fillings in large area of the tooth to fill the damaged portion can cause cracks in the tooth or it can damage the entire tooth or adjoining teeth. Dental onlays, on the other hand, ensure safe restoration of the damaged portion of the tooth.

Both can be made using a tooth colored composite, porcelain or gold. The material used and the size and shape determines the life of restoration. Like your natural teeth, dental inlay or onlay also have to be taken care of. So, ensure you brush, floss daily and visit dentist regularly. If proper care is taken, the life of dental inlay or onlay can be as long as 30 years.
The procedure for both is same, where a dentist first measures the size of the damage by getting an impression of the tooth and removing decay, if any. The next step is where dentist will use a temporary dental filling to avoid any further damage.

The dental inlay or dental onlay is prepared in the laboratory with the help of the measurements and impressions taken at the first place. Once the dental inlay or onlay is ready, the temporary filling is removed and then inlay or onlay is cemented on the tooth. As it sounds, it is really complicated and must be done with utmost care. It must not cause any damage to other teeth or any other complications. Therefore, for quality dental care, visit Dr Siman, who has a vast experience in this area. He is the best dentist available in the locality and ensures a comfort dental care for all age groups.