Dental Inlay & Onlay

What is a dental inlay and onlay?

A dental inlay or dental onlay is used when teeth are restored due to damage or dental decay. They made be referred to as an indirect filling. These are custom-made fillings that are fabricated by a dental laboratory for an exact fit. Because they are custom-made, they are also made to match the natural shape, size and colour of your other teeth.

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Why are dental inlays are onlays used?

For some restoration cases, dental inlays and onlays can be used as a conservative approach instead of a dental crown, which covers the entire tooth. Inlays and onlays offer a stronger and longer lasting solution when compared to a direct filling. A dental inlay is used when restoration is needed in the middle portion of the tooth, as pictured above. A dental onlay is used when the tooth tip, tips, or entire biting surface requires restoration.

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What is the process?

Having a dental inlay or onlay placed takes two appointments on average. The tooth is prepared or prepped during the first appointment. This involves removing any decay and cleaning the area. An impression is taken of the tooth and sent to a dental laboratory, where the inlay or onlay is custom-made. It may be made from porcelain, gold or composite resin materials, depending on what your dental needs and where the inlay or onlay will be placed. The second visit involves placement of the newly created inlay or onlay, where it is permanently cemented into place. The final step involves polishing the areas around the restoration for a smooth finish and feel.

Contact us if you would like to get more information about dental inlay or onlays and to discuss tooth restoration options to suit your dental needs.