Inlays & Onlays
Inlays and onlays are dental reconstruction options that are available for situations in which regular fillings or crowns aren't a good choice.
What are dental inlays?
Dental inlays are natural looking fillings. They are most often used to replace large amalgam (silver) fillings.
Inlays are made from either composite or porcelain materials, and are strong and durable enough to be placed in the back teeth (molars). Inlays provide all the benefits of a regular filling, while at the same time helping to preserve the natural beauty of your smile. By replacing old silver fillings with aesthetic inlays, you can maintain that natural beauty for years to come.
What are dental onlays?
A dental onlay is larger than a normal filling or inlay, but not quite as big as a crown. Onlays work much like an inlays do, but they cover one or more of the cusps, or even the whole biting surface of the tooth. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns because they cover such a large portion of the tooth.
Dental onlays are longer lasting and more durable than regular dental fillings. Nevertheless, they may need to be replaced over time, like any dental restoration. With proper care, however, dental onlays can last for up to 30 years.
Onlays are the perfect middle ground in situations where a tooth is damaged to the extent that a regular filling is not sufficient, but not so damaged that it requires a crown. Placing a dental crown involves the removal of significant amounts of the tooth structure, and this shouldn't be done unless necessary.