Inlays & Onlays

When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged, David & Associates might recommend using an inlay or onlay. Inlays and onlays are strong and long-lasting option when a tooth suffers damage that is too extensive to be treated with a simple filling, but not extensive enough to need a crown.

WHAT IS AN INLAY?

Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. Defective or unsightly “fillings” can be replaced by tooth-colored inlays and bonded to the tooth. This bonding process may actually improve the strength of the tooth and help seal the inlay to the tooth.

WHAT IS AN ONLAY?

An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth. Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth. The procedure for placing inlays and onlays is the same.

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