Inlays and Onlays July 6, 2006, 9:24 a.m.
When a filling just won’t do a job, maybe an inlay or onlay is for you!
If a cavity or old failing restoration occupies a third of the tooth, or if you grind or clench: the treatment of choice is an indirect restoration. This is an extremely durable, custom fitted structure that allows for as much of your natural tooth as possible to be preserved. These restorations are fabricated by dental laboratory based on impressions the dentist takes of your teeth. According to numerous studies indirect restorations can increase the strength of the remaining tooth by up to 75 percent.Inlays: Small inserts completely surrounded by the tooth structure. They are more durable than fillings and leave more of the original tooth structure intact compare to conventional crowns.
Onlays: More extensive than inlays, these replace both tooth ‘s biting surface and at least one missing cusp or corner. Their function is not just protect the tooth, but to build up it’s shape. Sometimes onlays are referred as partial crowns and they are the last stop before the full crown.The big news about inlays and onlays is that the latest ones are made of tooth-colored ceramic resins and once in place, they are virtually undetectable. The procedure requires two visits to the dental office and the steps are similar to the crown and bridge preparations.