Inlays and onlays are prepared just like dental fillings but are custom-made in the dental laboratory and then bonded to your teeth, restoring shape, function and aesthetics. Both are similar but onlays extend to cover more tooth structure and are required when there is more extensive tooth damage. Onlays are a more conservative restorative option and may be a good alternative to a crown.
Research shows inlays and onlays can increase the strength of the tooth by up to 75%, while traditional fillings up to 50%. As a result they last much longer than traditional fillings. Inlays and onlays are typically ideal in the following cases:
- Back teeth with mild to moderate decay
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Weakened teeth such as ones which have had a history of trauma, or root canal treatment
Inlays and onlays are generally made of porcelain (ceramic), which means they are very durable and blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth, allowing you to maintain an aesthetic smile.