An inlay fits within the confines of the teeth. An onlay covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth.
The procedure involves removing decayed tooth structure or old fillings, preparing the tooth cavity, taking an impression of the cavity to fabricate a custom-fit inlay or onlay. Two visits are required to complete the treatment.
For many years, gold has been the metal of choice for dental repairs. We use gold alloys that are incredibly strong and resistant to oxidation. Gold inlays and onlays work well in the back teeth as they do not fracture. However, they are noticeable and are not an esthetic choice.
For a more esthetic look, you may choose to have a porcelain onlay or inlay. While tooth coloured, porcelain does not last as long as gold. You may need to have the inlay or onlay replaced further down the line.
- Any areas of decay or old fillings are removed and the tooth is cleaned.
- An impression is taken and this is used by a dental laboratory to create the inlay or onlay so it will exactly match the area to be filled.
- A temporary restoration is fitted so the prepared cavity can be protected while the inlay or onlay is being made.
- When ready, the inlay or onlay is checked for fit and comfort, and then fixed permanently in place with a strong dental adhesive.