Inlays & Onlays
When more than half of a tooth is damaged, we may advise replacing the damaged structure with an inlay or onlay. This is a more conservative alternative to crowns.
If the damage is minimal, inlays are appropriate. When the damage is more extensive (but not enough to warrant replacement with a crown) onlays may be best.
Inlays and onlays are made from porcelain, gold or composite resins that are bonded directly to the teeth. These materials are much stronger than the old silver fillings and can help prevent further decay or damage. Inlays and onlays can generally be expected to last much longer than a large composite filling.
First, your dentist will remove the damaged areas (or old fillings) and shape the tooth for the restoration. If you are a candidate for CEREC restoration, an optical 3D image of the tooth surface is taken and the inlay/onlay is constructed using the CEREC system in our office.
In other cases, an impression will be taken and sent to a dental lab for construction.
After the inlay/onlay is completed, your dentist will check for proper fit and bond the well-fitted onlay or inlay to your tooth with a strong resin cement.