Inlays & Onlays
When over half of the tooth’s biting surface is damaged, a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay. In dentistry, inlays and onlays are a form of indirect restoration. This means they are made outside of the mouth as a single, solid piece, that fits the specific size and shape of the cavity. The restoration is then cemented in place in the mouth. This is an alternative to a direct restoration, made out of composite, amalgam or glass ionomer, that is built up within the mouth.
How Are They Applied?
Typically inlays and onlays require two appointments to complete the procedure. During the first visit, the filling being replaced or the damaged or decaying area of the tooth is removed, and the tooth is prepared for the inlay or onlay. To ensure proper fit and bite, an impression of the tooth will be taken and sent to a lab for fabrication. We will then apply a temporary sealant on the tooth and schedule the next appointment.
At the second appointment, the temporary sealant is removed. We will then make sure that the inlay or onlay fits correctly. If the fit is satisfactory, the inlay or onlay will be bonded to the tooth with a strong resin and polished to a smooth finish.