More conservative than a crown, inlays and onlays are two methods of restoring normal tooth structure after decay or other damage. Inlays and onlays are known as indirect fillings because unlike a standard filling that is done in our office, both are made in a laboratory and cemented or bonded to the surface of the tooth during a second visit. And unlike standard fillings, inlays and onlays do not weaken the tooth structure, but actually strengthens it. After the procedure, the tooth can bear up to 50 to 75 percent more chewing force.

An inlay is done when the tooth structure replaced is within the cusp tips of the tooth. If the damage is more extensive and the new structure covers the entire chewing surface including one or more tooth cusps, the procedure is called an onlay.

Dental Inlays:

Technological advancements make it possible for you to maintain an amazing smile even if you have cavities. Many dentists still use metal amalgam fillings but today there are dental inlays available to fill your cavities with material that matches your tooth color. If you are self-conscious about your existing metal fillings, you may want to consider replacing them with natural looking dental inlays. Dental inlays allow our Rock Hill dentists to offer you virtually invisible dental restoration.

What Dental Inlays Do

Dental inlays repair the chewing surface of your tooth. Our Rock Hill dentists may use dental inlays to repair teeth that have other restoration options such as a dental filling. You can have your inlays created of tooth colored porcelain or composite resin. You can also choose to have your inlays made from gold. Most inlays are more durable than the composite or amalgam fillings. They are also less expensive than a dental crown.

Dental Onlays

The dentists at Espinal & Willis – Carolinas Center for Advanced Dentistry in Rock Hill, SC. offer their patients a variety of dental restoration techniques. One of these techniques is dental onlays.

A Dental Onlay can Replace a Traditional Dental Filling

Many consider dental onlays indirect fillings. These onlays offer patients a stronger, well-fitting and longer lasting repair for tooth decay or other structural damage.

While a dental filling is molded during your dental visit, an onlay is created in a dental laboratory before it is fitted and then bonded to a damaged tooth. A dental restoration that requires material to be bonded within the tooth’s center is considered an inlay whereas, restorations involving the entire biting surface or one or more points (cusps) of a tooth are onlays.

The Dental Onlay Procedure

Your onlays may be made from various materials including: porcelain, gold and resin. The difference between these three materials is their appearance. It generally takes two visits to complete an onlay.