An inlay or onlay is typically used for teeth that have suffered moderate damage or decay to their chewing surface. These restorations can fully restore the function and appearance of moderately damaged teeth.
Inlays or onlays are ideally used when there is damage that is too severe to be treated with a traditional filling but not severe enough to warrant a full dental crown. They are also molded and constructed outside of the mouth, and because of this, they are often referred to as “indirect fillings.”
Inlays and onlays are essentially the same the thing, but it is called an inlay when the damage on the chewing surface only affects the inside of the cusps or points of the tooth. If the damage affects the one or more of the cusps or points, it is called an onlay. Both can replace old fillings and will restore the strength and appearance of your teeth.
The process normally takes two appointments. The first will be dedicated to cleaning out the damage or decay from your tooth and then taking impressions for the dental lab. A temporary inlay or onlay will be placed to protect your tooth until the second appointment. Once the dental lab has created your permanent inlay or onlay, our dental professionals will place the inlay or onlay onto your tooth and permanently bond it. You can expect to return to your normal diet and routine quickly after your second appointment!