What are inlays and onlays?

What are inlays and onlays?

Inlays and onlays are used by dentists before the use of a crown is required, but when it is too late to restore your tooth with a standard filling. They are stronger and more durable than a filling. Yet they are also easier to fit than a crown, which also allows you to salvage the remaining healthy parts of your existing tooth.  They are sometimes known as ‘indirect fillings’.

inlays-and-onlaysInlays and onlays are used when the cavity is too large for a filling but the structure of the tooth is still good. Therefore, rather than moulding a sound tooth to fit under a crown, your dentist at All Smiles Dental will simply use an inlay or onlay. An inlay fills the gap in the tooth, while the onlay is applied to the top of the tooth.

Where can they be used?

Normally, inlays and onlays are used to restore the back teeth. This is because these are the teeth that do the most work, are the hardest to clean and normally suffer the most from decay. They can also be used to replace older fillings. The reason some people choose to do this is because onlays and inlays are created from tooth-coloured materials, giving a more natural and aesthetically pleasing finish.

The benefits

Inlays and onlays are made to preserve as much healthy tooth as possible. They are a great choice if you have minimal to moderate tooth decay and offer an excellent alternative to full crowns.

They also have the added addition of the cosmetic touch, as inlays and onlays are not likely to discolor over time as tooth-coloured resin fillings often do.

Your teeth can also be easier to clean with inlays and onlays, when compared to other restorative alternatives such as a crown.

Fillings can shrink during the treatment process, whereas porcelain or gold inlays and onlays will not, which ensures a sturdy and precise fit.

Inlays and onlays are an extremely stable solution for the treatment of tooth decay. The superior fit and tough material make inlays and onlays a reliable choice, that can actually strengthen damaged teeth.

Why not give All Smiles Dental in Bromley a call, to start your inlays an onlays treatment with us today.

Inlays & Onlays

Inlays & Onlays

This month, we look at two popular options for patients in need of restorative dental treatment. Introducing inlays and onlays. . .

Inlays and onlaysInlays and onlays are common dental restorations used to fill cavities in teeth. They are an alternative to metal and composite fillings, and are sometimes used as an alternative to dental crowns.

As the name suggests, an inlay sits in a hole inside a tooth, filling the cavity and creating a natural, healthy-looking tooth. An onlay sits on top of a tooth, similar to a crown, to cover the cavity and build up the tooth’s shape. Inlays are used for smaller cavities, while onlays cover a larger area of the tooth so work better for larger cavities.

Once upon a time, gold was the material of choice for both inlays and onlays, because it is very strong and durable. These days, most patients prefer a more natural look, and opt for tooth-coloured porcelain or composite resin material, which can be matched to the colour of their teeth for a discreet and realistic looking result.

If you opt for porcelain inlays or onlays, these can usually be placed in a single appointment, thanks to advances in technology. Using CAD/CAM technology and our CEREC porcelain milling machine, your inlays and onlays can be made at the practice while you wait.

If you choose gold or composite resin inlays or onlays, these will be made in the laboratory by one of our skilled technicians. For this, you will need an appointment for your dentist to prepare and take impressions of your tooth, followed by a second appointment when your onlay or inlay is ready. You will have a temporary filling fitted between appointments, and your permanent inlay or onlay will be glued into place using a strong dental adhesive.