Inlays and onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are restorations used to repair back teeth with mild to moderate decay, or cracked and fractured teeth that are not sufficiently damaged to need a crown.
Ideal candidates for inlay or onlay work typically have too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to be successfully treated using a filling, but have enough healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. This allows the dentist to conserve more of your original tooth structure.
In comparison to metal fillings inlays and onlays:
• are durable, being made from tough, hard-wearing materials that can last for many years
• help strengthen teeth by up to 75 per cent, unlike traditional metal fillings, which can actually reduce tooth stength by up to 50 per cent
• prolong tooth life and prevent the need for more dental treatment in the future.
A dental inlay is similar to a filling and fits inside the cusp tips (top edges) of the tooth. A dental onlay is more extensive and extends over the cusps of the treated tooth, reducing the risk of the tooth splitting in future.
Dental inlays and onlays can be made using various metal or durable ceramic materials. The latter tend to look better.