Inlays, Onlays, and Crowns
Porcelain Inlays and Onlays
Fillings may be the most common way of repairing cavities, but they’re not the only game in town.
If you have a mild to moderate amount of decay or damage on the biting surface of your back teeth—or are looking to replace your old metal fillings—porcelain inlays or onlays are an attractive and durable alternative.
Inlays are used to fill in areas within the cusps or top projections of a tooth, while onlays extend over one or more of them. Crafted from solid porcelain, they are not only virtually undetectable to the naked eye but also last far longer than traditional fillings.
The procedure for an inlay or onlay is the same as it is for a crown or veneer. It consists of two appointments: one to prepare the tooth and take a digital impression ( yes, that’s right, no more goopy stuff to put in your mouth), followed by covering the tooth with a “temporary”. The second appointment is the put the porcelain piece in place with dental cement and adhesive
The precise fit and solid bond of a porcelain inlay or onlay strengthens your tooth by up to 75 percent, helps prevent bacteria from entering and causing future decay, and requires less of the tooth’s structure to be removed than a regular filling. And, unlike metal, porcelain doesn’t expand or contract in response to temperature changes—so it won’t weaken or fracture your teeth over time.