Dental inlays and onlays are treatment options other than traditional fillings for when you develop a cavity. Inlays and onlays are used when the cavity covers a large part of the tooth’s natural surface. Both are known as indirect fillings because unlike regular fillings, they are made in a lab and either cemented or bonded to the surface of the tooth. The main difference between traditional fillings and inlays/onlays is that they are used to strengthen the tooth structure.
What are inlays and onlays?
An inlay is when the tooth’s replacement is inside the cusp tips of the tooth. If the damage affects a larger area of the tooth and the replacement covers the entire chewing surface for one or more cusps, this is what we call an “onlay”. We make both of these restorations indistinguishable from the natural tooth.
What are inlays and onlays made from?
With inlays and onlays, you can choose to have them made of tooth-colored porcelain, composite resin, or even gold. Most inlays will last much longer than composite or amalgam fillings and are also much more affordable than dental crowns. There are many benefits to choosing porcelain inlays. Porcelain looks natural and rather than weakening the teeth like metal does, it makes them stronger.