Inlays and Onlays are custom fillings, fabricated in a lab. They use the existing tooth as a base and fit the Inlay or Onlays onto the tooth in an area that has been prepared by the dentist. This is done to strengthen the tooth, restore its shape, and prevent future damage. An Inlay is done when there is no damage to the cusps of the tooth and the restoration can be placed right in the prepared area. An Onlay is used when the damage is a little more extensive, such as decay or a break in the tooth that involves one cusp or more. The decayed area of the tooth is first removed during the procedure. If the tooth is broken, the area is smoothed and shaped to better accept the Onlay. An impression of the tooth is then taken and sent to the lab. The restoration takes about 1-2 weeks to make, so a temporary Inlay or Onlay will be placed on the tooth during that time.
During the next visit, the Inlay or Onlay will be placed into the mouth and set with a cement. An Onlay is a conservative option for restoring a tooth where a crown might otherwise be required. Ask our team if this is a good option for you.