Generally, small or medium sized cavities can be filled using advanced composite resin fillings. If you have a larger cavity in a back tooth, we may suggest you have an inlay or onlay. These are restorations made from porcelain, are extremely strong and are highly biocompatible with your natural tooth. Each inlay or onlay will fit precisely into the cavity, restoring the strength and appearance of the tooth.
What Is the Difference between an Inlay and an Onlay?
An inlay is slightly smaller than an onlay as it is designed to only repair the central part of the chewing surface of a back tooth. An onlay can repair this central part of the tooth as well as the raised outer points on the tooth which are the tooth cusps.
What Is the Advantage of Having an Inlay or Onlay?
An inlay or onlay will be much stronger than a filling made from composite resin and is custom designed and carefully contoured to create a natural looking appearance. Once the restoration is bonded in place, it should be just about invisible. Modern porcelains are very durable, and your inlay or onlay should last significantly longer than a composite resin filling.
What Is the Process for Having an Inlay or Onlay?
The process is very similar to having a normal filling as your tooth will be carefully prepared under local anaesthetic, ensuring it is the correct shape for your new restoration. Next, a highly detailed impression will be taken of the prepared tooth so our dental laboratory can make your inlay or onlay to our exact specifications. It can be fitted and bonded in place at your next appointment.