Inlays & Onlays
When more than half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use inlays/onlays.
What are inlays/onlays?
Inlays/onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or a composite resin. These restorations are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay (which is similar to a filling)is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth. An onlay is a more substantial reconstruction (similar to the inlay), but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth.
Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays/onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.
How are they applied?
Inlays/onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth is taken by the Dr. Weinkranz and sent to his lab for fabrication. Dr. Weinkranz will then fabricate a provisional (temporary) restoration and cement it on tooth on the tooth
At the second appointment, the temporary is removed.and the inlay/onlay is bonded to the tooth with a strong resin cement and polished for a smooth finish.
Traditional fillings can reduce the strength of a natural tooth by up to 50% . As an alternative, inlays/onlays that are bonded directly onto the tooth using special high-strength resins, can actually increase the strength of a tooth by up to 75%. In some cases, where the damage to the tooth is not extensive enough to merit an entire crown, onlays can provide a very good alternative.