Inlays and Onlays

What are inlays and onlays?

inlays-onlaysBoth are laboratory fabricated fillings. They are like puzzle pieces that are made to fit the part of a tooth that is missing from breaking, decay or a failed filling. If the puzzle piece is completely within the tooth it is called an inlay and if it encompasses one of the biting tips, it is an onlay.

Why would I need an inlay or an onlay?

These restorations are used where a strategic part of the tooth is missing to provide more strength than a conventional filling. They are also used to conserve tooth structure when a tooth can be fixed more conservatively than placing a crown. Since they are usually made from ceramic material they are not only strong but practically invisible after placed.

How are inlays and onlays done?

All decay and old fillings are first removed. Then a very specific shape is created on the tooth to allow the inlay or onlay to easily slip in. An impression is taken and sent to the lab and the patient leaves the office with a temporary. On the second visit, the temporary is removed and the piece is fitted, adjusted and bonded seamlessly to the tooth.