Dental Inlays and onlays are custom made dental fillings made in the dental lab from an impression mould of your tooth. They are all alternative to direct dental fillings when your tooth has extensive damage from decay. They are a more conservative approach than dental crowns as they preserve more of the tooth structure and require less preparation.
There are many benefits to inlays and onlays, including:
- more resistant to fractures and damage compared to traditional fillings
- stain resistant
- Improve the natural aesthetic and appearance of teeth
- can last up to 30 years!
What is the difference between inlays and onlays?
An inlay fits between the grooves of your teeth while an onlay can cover a larger surface of your tooth and is used when the decay damage is more extensive.
Step 1 – Cavity filling removal (if necessary)
Often inlays and onlays replace damaged fillings. If this is the case your dentist will remove the damaged filling
Step 2 – impression of the tooth taken
During the first visit, a mould is taken of the damaged tooth
Step 3 – temporary filling placement
While the inlay or onlay is being prepared in the lab, a temporary filling is placed
Step 4 – inlay/onlay placement