A porcelain inlay is a custom made filling to restore the tooth. This composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain is popular because it resembles the natural tooth. A professional dental laboratory makes the porcelain inlay and our dentist permanently cements it to the tooth. An inlay is used to repair the tooth from a filling, decay, or trauma. An inlay removes less tooth structure which makes it more conservative than a crown. They are not always permanent but they are durable and will last a number of years.
A porcelain onlay is a custom made filling to restore the tooth. Like an inlay, it is made of composite material, gold, or tooth-colored porcelain. Onlays are popular due to the natural tooth look and are sometimes referred to as a partial crown. A professional dental laboratory makes the porcelain onlay and our dentist permanently cements it to the tooth. An onlay is used to conservatively repair the tooth from fillings, decay, or trauma. Less tooth structure is removed, making them an ideal alternative to crowns. An onlay is similar to an inlay with the exception that chewing cusps are also affected and need restored. They are also not always permanent but are durable and will last many years.
Getting an inlay / onlay will take about two appointments. Impressions will be taken to create the custom inlay / onlay. At the first appointment while numb, the dentist then removes the old filling or decay. Then the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and prepped for the proper fitting. A temporary filling is then applied which will protect your tooth until the inlay is made. The second appointment is when the inlay is precisely cemented into place. Adjustments are made so it properly fits and is comfortable.