When a significant portion of a tooth’s biting surface is damaged, a skilled dentist will often restore a tooth with an inlay or onlay.
What are inlays and onlays?
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces 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 and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can match the natural color of your teeth.
Considerations for inlays and onlays
Inlays and onlays can be done in one visit with CEREC technology. Usually, inlays or onlays are recommended when fillings are not strong enough for a given situation, and when crowns may be too aggressive a treatment.