Inlays/Onlays are used as an alternative to fillings which replace part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay or wear. They are a lot stronger than any fillings and last longer. They are more suitable for chewing surfaces on back teeth and large surface repairs to front teeth.
They can be made of metal, composite or porcelain, the material needed will be advised by your dentist. Once fitted they are virtually undetectable from your natural teeth. The difference between and inlay and onlay is that an inlay sits in a hole in your tooth and an onlay sits on top of the tooth and builds up the tooth shape.
The tooth is prepared by using local anaesthetic around the area, and removing any decay, old fillings or weak areas of the tooth, and then they will shape the hole to suit an inlay/onlay then take impressions which will be sent to the laboratory so they can make the inlay/onlay. This process takes approximately 2 weeks. A temporary filling is applied on the tooth whilst the inlay/onlay is being made. When they are ready your dentist will cement the inlay/onlay in place and make any small adjustments to ensure that a comfortable bite is maintained.
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More of the natural tooth is preserved with this process so the structure of the tooth remains strong.
They are much more resistant to heavy chewing pressure on the biting surface of your teeth
They offer a custom fit therefore are easier to clean and bacteria is less likely to enter the affected area after treatment.
"Brilliant! Best thing I've ever done. I had dentures but never wore them! I was really conscious of them, the only time I wore them was when I would go out! I'm so much more confident."