Inlays and onlays can be thought of as the solution to tooth decay that sits right between a filling and a crown. Fillings are used when a small cavity is found in a tooth that can be remedied by filling the damaged area with a hard, tooth-colored plastic. This plastic does wear down over time, however, and if the cavity is too large, a filling may not be a good enough solution. When this is the case, an inlay may be the right approach.
inlays and onlays are considered a minimally invasive cosmetic dentistry treatment .
This type of restoration is called an indirect filling because unlike a traditional dental filling they are not molded into place during your dental visit.
Much like a veneer or crown, an inlay first requires a digital impression of the affected tooth to be taken. This impression is then sent to a lab so the inlay will fit perfectly where the newly removed cavity was. This inlay is then affixed to the area and cemented in place.
If the decay is not contained solely to the middle of the tooth, but comes up on the cusps of the tooth, then an onlay may be considered. An onlay is much the same concept as an inlay, only slightly larger, and may cover the top of the tooth, but not the entirety of it like a crown would.
We use all porcelain inlays and onlays, because porcelain does not wear down over time, has no negative side effects like metals do, and has the extra benefit of being aesthetically pleasing. Porcelain inlays and onlays are also much stronger than tooth colored fillings, and can withstand much more pressure.
BDC also employs the revolutionary CEREC machine, which allows his staff to create porcelain inlays and onlays on the same day as a patient’s first visit right in his clinic. This technology makes it possible to provide patients with long-term solutions to larger cavities that are both painless and beautiful in just hours.
Advantages of inlay and onlay restorations are:
- Perfect fit– they are fabricated in a dental laboratory from the impression of a prepared tooth and ensure a perfect fit to the natural tooth closing all damaged parts.
- Color– the color of the restoration is adjusted to the natural color of the patient’s tooth in the dental lab. Materials are resistant to discoloration and it ensure a long-term high aesthetic quality of the tooth.
- Dental tissue saving– when placing it only the damaged part of dental tissue has to be removed, and the rest of the natural tooth stays intact. Using natural tooth as a base for the restoration will fully restore tooth’s function.
- Easier brushing– perfect fit to the natural tooth will eliminate all risky parts where food could be collected and thus lead to recurrence of cavities.
- Placement on less accessible places– they can be placed to less accessible places which cannot be restored by a filling. It is especially applicable for the damages between two teeth.
- Strength and stability– inlay and onlay are very strong and stable and will greatly contribute to the overall stability of the tooth, which was disturbed by caries.
Your treatment plan will be carefully formulated to make sure that your smile transformation is exactly what you want it to be.