Inlays are fillings that were traditionally made of gold now are often made with porcelain, ceramic or composite material. They are used to repair moderately damaged back teeth and need to be extremely strong to withstand the grinding pressure of these teeth.
Inlays are glued into place and are contained within the cusp tips of the tooth. Special glue is used to increase the strength of the bond.
Onlays are made of the same materials as inlays, an onlay is a more extensive repair that covers the tooth’s cusp. An onlay is much stronger than any other type of filling and actually increases the strength of the tooth.
The fitting of inlays and onlays usually requires two dental visits. The first visit involves removing the old filling and decayed area and preparing the surface for the new filling.
An impression is made of the area and sent to a dental laboratory so the inlay or onlay can be constructed. A temporary cover or filling is applied until the next visit.
At the second visit, the temporary cover or filling is removed and the new inlay or onlay is fitted. Your dentist will insure that it is a perfect fit and does not interfere with your bite. It is then bonded into place with powerful glue and polished.
- Strength is one of the major advantages of inlays and onlays. They can increase the overall strength of the tooth.
- Porcelains, ceramics and composite material can be made in colours to match natural teeth.
- In some cases, they are a good alternative to the more complex crown.