Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are an ideal and natural-looking way
to restore the bite surface of a partially damaged tooth.
Made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin, inlays and onlays are bonded to the damaged area of a tooth. Similar to a filling, an inlay is placed inside the cusp tips of a damaged tooth. Onlays, on the other hand, extend over one or more cusps of a tooth. Although gold has been used for inlays and onlays, porcelain has become a popular material for inlays and onlays because it is strong and has a natural-looking color.
Inlays and onlays require two appointments:
- During visit 1, we will:
- Replace the filling and remove the damaged or decayed section of the tooth
- Prepare the tooth for its inlay or onlay
- Make an impression of the tooth to the inlay or onlay fits properly and your bite is aligned
- Apply a temporary covering on the tooth
- During visit 2, we will:
- Remove the temporary covering
- Ensure the fabricated inlay or only fit precisely
- Bond the inlay or onlay to the tooth with a strong resin
- Polish the inlay or onlay for a smooth, appealing result
Because traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth as much as 50 percent, inlays and onlays offer patients an outstanding option for protecting the integrity of a damaged tooth. In some cases, inlays and onlay can increase the strength of a tooth as much as 75 percent.
Porcelain inlays and onlays can last longer than fillings — as much as 10 to 30 years in some cases. For this reason, inlays and onlays are an ideal way to restore and protect damaged teeth that do not require a crown.