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?
Aesthetic inlays are natural looking fillings. They are typically used to replace large amalgam (silver) fillings.
Inlays are made from either composite or porcelain, and are strong enough to be placed in the back teeth (molars), making them very durable. They provide all the benefits of a regular filling, while at the same time helping to maintain the natural beauty of your smile.
Replacing old silver fillings with aesthetic inlays can help you regain that natural beauty for years to come.
What are dental onlays?
A dental onlay is bigger than a normal filling or inlay, but not quite as big as a crown. Onlays work much like an inlays do, only it covers one or more of the cusps, or even the entire biting surface, of the tooth. Since they cover such a large area of the tooth, onlays are sometimes also called partial crowns.
Dental onlays last longer and are more durable than regular dental fillings. Nonetheless, as with any dental restoration, they may need to be replaced over time. However, if cared for properly, dental onlays can last for up to 30 years.
When a tooth is damaged to the extent that a regular filling is not sufficient, but not so damaged that it requires a crown, an onlay is a good middle ground. Placing a dental crown involves the removal of significant amounts of the tooth structure, and this shouldn't be done unless necessary.