Inlay or Onlay
An inlay is an ideal way to restore a heavily decayed or broken down tooth. The inlay is a special cast filling in gold or porcelain which provides extra strenghth while leaving healthy un-weakened parts of the tooth intact.
An onlay is an ideal way to restore a decayed or broken down tooth. The special shape of an onlay protects the tooth from further damage by covering weakened parts whilst leaving healthy un-weakened parts of the tooth intact.
There are a number of reasons, for instance:
They were originally made of gold but are nowadays mostly made of tooth coloured materials. Zirconium/Porcelain or pressed porcelain are the strongest and most natural materials. Composite resin based materials like Belle-Glass are a less expensive alternative but do not retain their appearance for so long.
All decayed or weakened parts of the tooth are removed; the dentist will then take an impression of the prepared tooth. This impression, along with a record of the shade of your tooth will be sent to the dental laboratory where your inlay or onlay will be made. A temporary filling will be placed in your tooth to protect it for the two weeks which it takes for the technician to make your permanent inlay or onlay.
A pressed porcelain or zirconium/porcelain crown would be virtually unnoticeable.
Once the fit and appearance has been checked and approved by you and the bite checked and perfected by the dentist, the inlay or onlay will be cemented in place with a special dental cement.