Inlays and onlays provide an alternative to fillings, replacing part of a tooth that has been lost because of decay, wear or accidental damage. They are stronger and can last longer than fillings, and are especially suitable for the chewing surfaces of back teeth and large repairs to front teeth.
An inlay sits in a hole in the tooth. An onlay sits on the tooth and builds up its shape. They can be made from tooth coloured porcelain, gold or composite.
The tooth is prepared in the same way as a filling. Once prepared, an impression is taken of the tooth using a soft mouldable material. This is then given to a dental technician to build a bespoke inlay/onlay to the exact size and shape required.
A temporary filling is applied on the tooth, whilst the inlay/onlay is being built. When they are ready, your dentist will glue the inlay/onlay into place and make small adjustments to ensure a comfortable bite is maintained.