Inlays and onlays are smaller than crowns but bigger than fillings. An inlay rests within the bumps of the chewing surface of the tooth and an onlay covers several cusps or bumps and are larger than inlays. They can be made from composite resin, ceramics or gold and can be bonded into place. They are long lasting and minimally invasive ie. They preserve natural tooth substance.
The duration of their lifespan depends on:
- The teeth that need treatment
- The material used
- The chewing pressure
- The patient’s habits/oral hygiene regime
They are indicated where teeth towards the back of the mouth have suffered a moderate level of decay. They can also be placed on teeth that have undergone a fractured cusp for example.
The procedure for fitting an inlay or onlay is the same as that of a dental crown.
Advantages of Inlays and Onlays.
- They can strengthen the remaining tooth.
- They are more conservative than crowns because they do not involve removal of healthy tooth substance.