Inlay and Onlays
Inlays and onlays (also known as indirect fillings) are used if the damage is too extensive for a filling to treat effectively.
They are also less invasive alternatives to a crown. A long-lasting restorative solution, they are usually placed in teeth at the back of the mouth.
Unlike a filling, inlays and onlays are created outside the mouth from an impression taken of the tooth. An inlay is cemented within the cavity and an onlay usually covers the whole biting surface. They are made from hard-wearing materials including porcelain and composite resin, and if aesthetics is not an issue, gold can be used to provide a particularly durable restoration.
Inlays and onlays are very stable restorations that fit a damaged tooth perfectly to provide superior protection and can withstand stronger chewing forces. The affected tooth requires little further preparation and as the inlay or onlay is tailored to fit, they can be easier to keep clean than other restorations. When properly maintained, with effective cleaning and regular check-ups, inlays and onlays can last for years.
These are photos taken of a broken tooth and afterwards restored with a porcelain onlay.