Inlays and Onlays
If you have areas of decay or damage that are just too large to be repaired with a normal filling, we can use an inlay or onlay to restore your tooth. Unlike conventional fillings, which are applied then and there in the dentist’s chair, these restorations are produced outside the mouth from an impression taken of the tooth. This ensures an accurate fit and gives excellent cosmetic results.
An inlay is fixed within a cavity, whereas an onlay covers one or more of the cusps of the tooth and can provide complete coverage of the biting surface, making them an effective way to protect teeth that have had root canal therapy. Both inlays and onlays are conservative solutions to tooth damage as minimal preparation is required prior to their placement.
What to expect
- Following an initial consultation, we remove the decayed parts of the tooth or old filling material.
- We take an impression of the tooth so the dental laboratory can create an inlay or onlay for an imperceptible repair.
- A temporary restoration is put in place to protect the prepared tooth while you wait for your inlay or onlay to be produced.
- During your second visit, the temporary restoration is removed and the new inlay or onlay bonded to the tooth.
Living with inlays and onlays
As inlays and onlays are stable restorations, designed to fit your tooth perfectly, they can be easy to keep clean and withstand strong chewing forces. Their durability makes them a particularly long-lasting solution to more extensive tooth damage. Inlays and onlays made from composite or porcelain are a good alternative to a large silver filling, especially on molar teeth.