Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

An onlay, on the other hand, extends beyond the rim of the cusp, going over the tooth cusp or involving more than one cusp. Onlays are used when the cavity or damage reaches one or more cusps of the tooth or teeth. This often involves reconstruction of the cusp, which has been worn or broken away.

If the cavity or tooth damage is more severe, effecting more than the area within the cusps or just beyond, it may be necessary to have a crown placed. However if it is confined, a less invasive onlay or inlay may be used.

Porcelain inlays and onlays are bonded directly to the tooth. They are tooth-colored in appearance and actually strengthen the structure of the tooth by up to seventy-five percent, and because of the porcelain materials from which they are made, they never discolor and can last up to thirty years.

Unlike a traditional filling, inlays and onlays are created outside the mouth. Their shape is formed and hardened. Then it is adhered to the tooth, allowing precise shaping and design. Traditional fillings are placed in the tooth and then allowed to harden there. The other benefit of working outside the mouth first is that dentists can ensure that the composite used to create the inlay or onlay matches the color of your natural teeth. This gives a seamless transition between your teeth and the restoration, giving you a more comfortable, confident smile.

See Smile Gallery for an example of a combination of composite and veneer.

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