When more than half of your tooth’s biting surface is damaged, we will often restore it using an inlay or onlay. Made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin, these pieces are bonded to the damaged area to cover and protect it. An inlay, which resembles a filling, is placed inside the cusps of the tooth, while an onlay is more substantial, extending out over one or more of the cusps.
After numbing the area with a local anaesthetic, we will clear away any infected matter and gently take an impression of your tooth to serve as a model for your new inlay or onlay. Until your restoration returns from the dental laboratory, you will wear a temporary one to protect the tooth from further weakening and damage. At the next visit, we will place your new inlay or onlay and, if it fits correctly, bond it to the tooth and polish it for a natural-looking result.
Inlays and onlays can increase the strength of a weakened tooth by up to 75%. If your tooth is not damaged enough to require a crown, inlays and onlays can provide an excellent alternative.