Porcelain inlays and onlays can be used to restore teeth that require large fillings. They provide excellent cosmetic results, along with increased strength and durability. The inlay and onlay are bonded onto the tooth in order to prevent further deterioration requiring root canal treatment.
Inlays and onlays are an alternative restorative treatment to dental crowns and fillings, often applied to teeth at the back of the mouth that have suffered damage or decay. Inlays and onlays tend to be used when a filling is not quite adequate enough to fix a tooth but they are also good for fractures.
Inlays and onlays are usually made from porcelain these days and created in such a way to blend in with the natural colour of the tooth to keep them discreet. Onlays generally cover the cusp of the tooth while inlays are used more to fill in the gap between cusps to strengthen damaged teeth against chewing.
Before inlays and onlays can be attached the damaged part of the tooth must first be removed to prevent further decay or infection. The remaining tooth will be shaped to accommodate the inlay or onlay which will be specially crafted to fit securely. An impression of the incomplete tooth will be taken so that the inlay or onlay can be made to correspond with it, before being applied during a second appointment.
A local anaesthetic ensures that the procedure is a painless one but patients may experience a dull, throbbing pain in the affected area following treatment but over-the-counter painkillers should be enough to relieve it.