Inlays and onlays are special types of restorations that combine the conservative aspects of regular fillings with the superior strength and esthetics of crowns. Both inlays and onlays are considered indirect restorations, in as much as they are fabricated by a lab to Dr. Victor’s specifications. The difference is that an onlay covers part of the facial or tongue side of the tooth in addition to the more central part, whereas an inlay does not extend as far.
Inlays and onlays are excellent choices when sufficient tooth structure remains to support them. If not, crowns (which cover the entire tooth) are typically better choices. Often, inlays will be considered when a more esthetic restoration is desired for a deep posterior restoration that does not meet the requirements for a composite filling.
Like crowns, inlays and onlays require two visits. During the first visit, the tooth will be prepared for the inlay/onlay, an impression taken, and a temporary placed. The impression will then be sent to a dental laboratory, which will fabricate the restoration to Dr. Victor’s specifications. At the second appointment, the temporary will be removed and the inlay/onlay will be permanently cemented into location.
Talk to Dr. Victor about inlays and onlays as an option for you.