Inlays are a type of a laboratory-processed restoration placed in a tooth when the cavity is still within the confines of the tooth, while onlays are placed when some parts or the whole chewing surface of the tooth needs to be replaced.
Since inlays and onlays are laboratory-processed, they are imparted with wear-resistant and stain-resistant properties. Inlays and onlays can also be matched with the tooth’s natural color and can be produced with very intricate details such as grooves and special tinting. They can be made of porcelain or zirconia which look aesthetically pleasing and of metal if the location of the restoration is hidden and if the patient is willing.
While there are several types of inlays and onlays, gold is the best option but is usually placed in areas of the mouth that are not visible.
Porcelain, ceramic and resin are the kinds that dentists usually use for the front teeth.
Inlays and onlays require time for restoration. Usually, it needs two to three dental office visits to finish the whole treatment.
During the first appointment, discussion, planning, removal of the decay, preparation of the tooth and impression of the prepared cavity are done. A temporary inlay or onlay will be placed to last until the next appointment. Subsequently, the impression of the cavity will be sent to the laboratory to be processed.
For the second appointment, the shade and fit of the permanent inlay and onlay in the cavity are checked. If the patient and the dentist consider it as acceptable and no further adjustment needs to be done, the inlay or onlay is finally cemented into the tooth.
The last appointment is scheduled for one – two days after cementation of the restoration and it is done to assess the restoration according to the patient’s feedback as well as to reinforce good oral hygiene. These dental restorations should receive the same meticulous care as your natural teeth to ensure the longevity of the inlay and onlay inside the mouth and to maintain good oral and general health.
WRITTEN BY: DR. DIANNE MAMAID | EDITED BY: DR. RICHELLE RAMIREZ
Set an Appointment Today