Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and onlays are a conservative alternative to full coverage dental crowns. Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays offer a well-fitting, stronger, longer lasting reparative solution to tooth decay or similar damage. These restorations are beneficial from both an esthetic and functional point of view.
Ideal candidates for inlay or onlay work typically have too much damage or decay in the tooth structure to be successfully treated using a filling, but have sufficient healthy tooth remaining to avoid the need for a crown. This allows the dentist to conserve more of the patient’s original tooth structure.
here are other benefits to inlays and onlays in comparison to metal fillings:
- Inlays and onlays are durable — they’re made from tough, hard-wearing materials which last up to 30 years.
- They help to strengthen teeth by up to 75 percent, unlike traditional metal fillings which can actually reduce the strength of the teeth by up to 50 percent.
- Inlays and onlays prolong tooth life and prevent the need for more dental treatment in the future.
Your dentist may choose from materials such as gold, tooth-colored composite resin and porcelain to create an inlay, depending on your choice of aesthetic appeal, longevity and your budget. Regardless of the material your dentist recommends, inlays are often more durable than amalgam or composite fillings, less expensive than dental crowns and are not likely to have complications during the procedure.