Inlays and Onlays

The inlay is an indirect restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance (as gold or porcelain) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place. An onlay is the same as an inlay, except that onlay extends to replace a cusp. Crowns are onlays that completely cover all surfaces of a tooth. One innovative way to restore a tooth that has been moderate to extensively destroyed by decay, previous drilling, or fracture is with a porcelain inlay or onlay. An inlay is a restoration in which a portion of the occlusal (biting) surface is restored. An onlay will restore more of the entire biting surface of the tooth. You might need an inlay alone, an onlay alone, or a combination inlay/onlay. This is considered a very conservative restoration.

The porcelain material produces an excellent esthetic result. The porcelain inlay or onlay is bonded to the tooth, making it very strong. It can be used with wonderful results in small, medium, even large restorations, and relatively trouble-free. Inlays are more conservative than crowns. Less tooth structure is removed in the preparation of inlays. Porcelain inlays are popular because they resemble your natural tooth. A porcelain inlay is permanently cemented into the tooth. It can be performed in a single appointment at the clinic.

Advantages include excellent esthetics, high strength, predicted longevity, and conservative preparation. If the porcelain does chip, it can be repaired. However, you should not chew ice cubes, “jawbreakers,” or other hard candy with these or any other type of restoration. Inlays are not always permanent and may require replacement at later stages. They are highly durable and will last many years, giving you a beautiful long lasting smile. Know more about dental inlays and onlays

Anything that you put in your mouth that can break a real tooth can break this type of restorative material.

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