Dentists will often recommend an inlay or an onlay, rather than a crown, if a tooth has a significant amount of deterioration. This may be across its biting surface only or an older filling needs replacing. They can sometimes also be used if the top of a tooth shows early signs of fracturing. Both Inlays and onlays, resemble a traditional filling, however they are much more durable. Inlays sit within the tooth’s edges (cusp) and onlays often extend further over the tooth’s top edge, covering one or more of the cusps.
For either procedure, you will be required to attend at least two appointments. Firstly, we remove any old fillings, damage or decay. Once the tooth is prepared, an impression is made and sent away to be made in a laboratory. The dentist will also apply a temporary filling, to help protect your teeth until the next visit. Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain, composite resin or gold. During your second appointment, they are cemented directly on to the surface of the tooth, with a special permanent resin.