What if tooth is too damaged to restore it with a filling, but not bad enough for the crown? Big filling will weaken the tooth and in the future can cause it’s fracture which eventually leads to tooth destruction. The crown also requires removal of a large amount of tooth structure. Hence onlay or inlay are the only tooth restoration that can solve this problem.
Dental inlays and dental onlays can restore large cavities without any fillings or crowns.
Inlays and Onlays are very close concepts and work in a similar way but onlay covers larger surface of a tooth. Very often onlay also covers damaged or destroyed cusps of the tooth to protect them. Dental onlays can be named as “partial crowns.”
Onlays and inlays can be made either from noble metal (gold) or tooth colored ceramic (porcelain onlays). Gold or metal onlays and inlays offer extreme durability and strength. Porcelain restorations are very aesthetic and practically indistinguishable from tooth itself.
Inlays and Onlays allow you to choose the color that is identical to your natural tooth shade and practically blends in with a tooth. More important, ceramic onlays and inlays don’t loose colour in the future. . This procedure also strengthens and reinforces damaged tooth. That is why, inlays and onlays are considered one of the most functional and durable restorations.
Onlays procedure usually requires one to two appointments with a doctor.
During the first visit your dentist prepares tooth and makes an impression, sends it to a laboratory and places a temporary onlay to preserve a prepared tooth. You have a next appointment when onlay/inlay is ready. A dentist removes a temporary onlay , put a final permanent onlay on your tooth and cements it.
Dental inlays and dental onlays are very durable and will last many years if you follow the instructions, take care of your teeth and visit dentist on a regular basis.