Inlays and Onlays
When teeth are too damaged or decayed for a filling, an inlay or onlay may be the best solution. Both are options for teeth with moderate decay as well as for cracked teeth that are not so severely damaged that they need a crown.
The Difference Between an Inlay and an Onlay
An inlay lies inside the cusps of a tooth, whereas a onlay covers one or more cusps — or even the entire biting surface. Other than that, the two are exactly the same.
Benefits of Inlays and Onlays
Both inlays and onlays are highly durable, lasting up to 30 years. This also means that they are strong enough to bite and chew without structural damage to the remaining tooth. In fact, unlike amalgam fillings, they can even increase the strength of teeth. Once you have an inlay or onlay, it is unlikely you’ll need further dental treatment to that tooth, provided you maintain good oral hygiene to prevent decay.
We will begin by giving you a local anesthetic. Then, if you currently have a filling on the tooth, we will remove it. We will take an impression of the tooth to send to a dental laboratory. We also send the specifications for the material and, if your inlay or onlay will be made from porcelain or composite resin, the colour. For the time being, you will receive a temporary restoration.
You will return to our clinic for a second appointment once your inlay or onlay is ready. We will remove the temporary restoration and place the permanent inlay or onlay in place. After checking fit, we will use resin adhesive to bond the inlay or onlay in place.
Your mouth may feel a little sore for the first few days after receiving your inlay or onlay. However, you will soon forget that the restoration is even there.