Inlays and Onlays
What are Inlays and Onlays?
Most of the time, inlays and onlays replace previous large fillings as well as newly decayed or fractured tooth structure. Inlays and onlays cover most of the tooth structure but the removal of healthy tooth structure is not necessary. This is a great conservative option that primarily preserves as much healthy tooth as possible. The strongest material that is also esthetic is porcelain, which is used to fabricate these restorations.
Porcelain inlays, onlays, and tooth-colored restorations create fillings that are not only beautiful (or unnoticeable), but also add strength to weakened teeth. These restorations are aesthetically pleasing and very strong thanks to new bonding technologies.
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What Are Inlays & Onlays made out of?
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay (which is similar to a filling) is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay, but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color that can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.
How Are They Applied?
Inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth will be taken and sent to a lab for fabrication. Dr. Glass will then apply a temporary filling on the tooth and schedule the next appointment.
At the second appointment, the temporary filling is removed. Dr. Glass will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is sati