Inlays & Onlays Edmonton AB
Princess Elizabeth Dental
Sometimes a large amount of a tooth’s biting surface is damaged, but other parts of it are healthy and aesthetic. For a tooth that is too damaged to restore with a filling, but doesn’t need a full coverage crown, a dentist will often use an inlay. Essentially the damaged area of the tooth is removed, and a custom made restoration is bonded in its place. Note that we often use the term “onlay” to refer to an inlay that has to cover one or more of the tooth cusps, but the procedure is the same.
Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and colour that can potentially match the natural color of your teeth. In some of our offices, we will employ Cerec technology to mill your inlay or onlay from a solid block of ceramic, which can sometimes save one visit. See our section on Cerec technology for more information.
What is the procedure for an inlay?
The first visit is not unlike a longer filling appointment. The damaged area of the tooth is removed and a very accurate model of the area is taken with a rubber-like material. A temporary plastic cover is made to protect the shaped tooth for the week or two while the laboratory constructs the inlay. When you return, the temporary cover is removed and the inlay is tried in. After any minor adjustments are made, it is then cemented or bonded onto the tooth.
Like any restorative procedure, we will only place an inlay after careful planning and consultation. Talk to your dentist to see if an inlay is right for you.