An inlay or onlay is a porcelain filling (either part or full) bonded into place to protect the tooth from chewing.
What are dental inlays and onlays?
An Inlay or Onlay is a far more conservative option than a crown and can be used if you have decay or damage to a back tooth. The chewing surfaces of back teeth are particularly vulnerable towards developing cavities and while we can repair small areas of decay with tooth coloured filling material, this isn’t strong enough to mend larger cavities and is why we might suggest you have an inlay or onlay.
With an inlay or onlay, we will only need to remove a minimal amount of tooth structure when preparing your tooth. The inlay or onlay is then made to fit exactly into the cavity and is bonded into place, creating a strong and hard wearing restoration enabling you to chew without fear of the tooth cracking or chipping. An inlay is designed to just repair the very central part of a back tooth whereas an onlay is a bit bigger, repairing one or more of your tooth cusps. Your inlay or onlay can be made from a variety of different materials that include composite resins, porcelain or gold.
Inlays and Onlays are custom made in our lab by our technicians to fit into or over the tooth. They are used when there is insufficient tooth structure to support a directly placed filling.
This is carried out over two appointments.
- Prepare the tooth, take impressions and place a temporary inlay
- The permanent porcelain Inlay or Onlay is bonded to the tooth.
With the modern materials we use there will be no way of spotting your treatments.
Which is the best treatment for me?
This depends on the tooth and the degradation of the tooth. During an initial consultation we will recommend an appropriate course of treatment for you
Is there any long term maintenance required?
No, however we do recommend a regular dental hygiene appointment to ensure longevity in your treatment as well as regular oral health checks with the dentist.