Inlays and onlays are usually made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin that is bonded to a damaged area of the tooth to increase its strength for another 10 to 30 years. While gold used to be the material of choice for inlays and onlays, porcelain has now become increasingly popular due to its strength and the fact that it can match the natural color of your teeth.
Reasons for inlay or onlays restorations:
An inlay is similar to a filling and is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. Porcelain inlays are the most popular because they resemble your natural tooth. A porcelain inlay is permanently cemented into the tooth by your dentist and is used to conservatively repair teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged.
They represent an ideal alternative to conventional silver and composite fillings and offer certain advantages over crowns since less tooth structure is removed during the procedure. They are highly durable and will last many years but are not always permanent and may someday require replacement.
An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction. Though similar to the inlay it extends out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth. Porcelain onlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth and are permanently cemented onto the tooth. They are used to fix teeth that have large defective fillings or have been damaged by decay or trauma and represent an ideal alternative to crowns (caps) because here again, less tooth structure is removed. Onlays are similar to inlays with the exception that one or more of the cusps have also been affected and need to be included in the restoration.
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the previous filling is replaced and the damaged area of the tooth is removed in order to prepare it for the future inlay or onlay. To guarantee a proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is made our team, and sent to a lab to be fabricated. Our dental team will then apply a temporary sealant on the tooth and schedule your next appointment. On that second visit, our team will then make sure the inlay or onlay fits correctly and then bond it into place with a strong resin.
We will help you make the best choice for your health, smile, and budget. Call us for more information about inlays, onlays, or to schedule an appointment with our dental team.